According to researchers in Iceland, the metal generated by more and more space debris and then melted into the atmosphere will create a mesh around our planet, which could reduce the size of the magnetic field by half.

It has been a long-known problem that there is too much space junk around Earth. So much so that it actually jeopardizes future missions, and every new rocket launched increases the amount of space junk. For this very reason, engineers have been working for years to clean up our planet's environment in one way or another.

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One way to do this is to move objects toward Earth and then burn them up in the atmosphere. However, a recently completed study warns that this solution could harm the ozone layer. And now another study has emerged, which draws attention to something even more worrying: In this way, we could also weaken the Earth's magnetic field, the researcher wrote. BGR.

the arXiv In a post published on a preprint server, researchers from the University of Iceland write that giant satellite networks like the one Starlink is about to build could reduce the strength of the Earth's magnetic field by half. According to Sierra Salter Hunt, lead author of the study, the problem lies in the evaporation of metals that melt when dead satellites enter the atmosphere and burn up there.

A scientist from the University of Iceland fears that the evaporating metal will form a kind of network at the top of the ionosphere. If this happens, the magnetic field will be trapped under the mesh. As a result, the magnetic force field, which extends thousands of kilometers into space, will begin to decrease significantly, which is why satellites and space stations will have to endure much more radiation than before.

According to the publication, even if we assume a scenario where the magnetosphere is not harmed, there is still a possibility that the vaporized metal could damage the electronic devices on board the spacecraft.

For this reason, Solter-Hunt sees this type of scenario as the worst when it comes to clearing a space of waste. If this happened, the atmosphere on Earth would be similar to that on Mercury or Mars.

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According to critics of the study, the scenarios described are very simple, and the chance of creating such a network of molten metal is very small.

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