Earth’s magnetic poles may be poised to flip

Watts Up With That?

Article by Phil Livermore, Associate Professor of geophysics, University of Leeds and Jon Mound, Associate Professor of Geophysics, University of Leeds

Schematic illustration of the invisible magnetic field lines generated by the Earth, represented as a dipole magnet field. In actuality, our magnetic shield is squeezed in closer to Earth on the Sun-facing side and extremely elongated on the night-side due to the solar wind. Earth's polarity is not a constant. Unlike a classic bar magnet, the matter governing Earth's magnetic field moves around. Geophysicists are pretty sure that the reason Earth has a magnetic field is because its solid iron core is surrounded by a fluid ocean of hot, liquid metal. The flow of liquid iron in Earth's core creates electric currents, which in turn creates the magnetic field. Credit: Peter Reid, The University of Edinburgh Schematic illustration of the invisible magnetic field lines generated by the Earth, represented as a dipole magnet field. In actuality, our magnetic shield is squeezed in closer to Earth on the Sun-facing side and extremely elongated on the night-side due to the solar wind. Earth’s polarity is not a constant. Unlike a classic bar magnet, the matter governing Earth’s magnetic field moves around. Geophysicists are pretty sure that the reason Earth has a magnetic field is because its solid iron core is surrounded by a fluid ocean of hot, liquid metal. The flow of liquid iron in Earth’s core creates electric currents, which in turn creates the magnetic field. Credit: Peter Reid, The University of Edinburgh

The Earth’s magnetic field surrounds our planet like an invisible force field – protecting life…

View original post 964 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s