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The Question

(Submitted February 10, 1997)

I would like to know if there is any evidence for counter clock wise rotation of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). Tried a few other sources, some asked what's the SAA? Never heard of it. Assumed if anyone would know it would be your outfit.

The Answer

This question is a good one for the Imagine the Universe! Ask an Astrophysicist service. Part of our job is to create observation schedules for the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. To do this, we have to model the location of the SAA. So I must say that you've come to the right place !

The South Atlantic Anomaly does not rotate. It changes its size (both in height above the earth and extent in latitude and longitude) due to a number of factors, with the primary one being solar activity. But there is no rotation to it.

Jim Lochner
for the Ask an Astrophysicist team

Questions on this topic are no longer responded to by the "Ask an Astrophysicist" service. See for help on other astronomy Q&A services.

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