Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The South Atlantic Anomaly

Here's another fun Skeptoid post. The South Atlantic Anomaly, unlike the Bermuda Triangle it's sometimes (unsupportably) linked to, is a real phenomenon, a quirk in the Van Allen belts that maintains a cloud of high-energy particles at an altitude low enough to concern the operators of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Some spacecraft have sensitive instruments turned off when they approach the Anomaly. While pseudoscientists link it to the strange 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, that's not supportable, either. Commercial aircraft operate at far too low an altitude to be affected.

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