Science

Interesting facts about earth’s magnetic field

Interestingly enough, our only living planet earth is surrounded by the magnetic field.

Our earth is truly fascinating in many senses. Starting from the evolution to recent times, we have been trying to exploit the earth for making it a better place to live on. Certain inherent things of planet earth should be known to all. One such thing is the magnetic field or geomagnetic field of the earth. Let’s get into the details of some interesting facts about the magnetic field of the earth.

The earth is a huge spherical magnet. The magnetic field always changes with location and time. There lies a straight magnet, that generates the dipole moment. This is nothing but the orientation and strength of the magnet or any objects with magnetic properties. Just like other magnets, the earth’s magnet also contains two poles, the north pole and the south pole.

The geomagnetic fields interact with the solar wind, which is a flow of charged particles that radiate from the sun. the magnetic field actually acts as a shield by keeping these charged particles beyond our reach. This interaction between the solar wind and the earth’s magnetic field is the main reason behind the alive atmosphere around space.

The geographic and magnetic poles of the earth are located completely opposite to each other. Sounds confusing, right? Let’s get into the details. The geographic north pole or the arctic ocean represent the magnetic south pole. While the magnetic north pole is residing in the geographic south pole or antarctic region. When you use any compass to locate a position, the needle is pointed towards the north geomagnetic pole when you are in the Southern hemisphere, and if you are in the northern hemisphere, the compass needle is pointed to the south geomagnetic pole.

The intensity of the earth’s magnetic field is different from place to place. The equator region experience the weakest intensity while the highest value was measured in the vertical regions which are represented by the south and north poles.

The earth’s magnetic field is decreasing. It is shocking but true. Over the last 25 years, the strength of the geomagnetic field has decreased by nearly 2%. Some areas have shown this decreasing trend up to 10%. This indicates that the magnetic field is reversing and it may take thousand years for complete reversal. This decreasing trend of the geomagnetic field is correlated with the magnetic pole movement.

The continuous rotation of the earth along with the composition of the earth’s core are predominant factors behind the magnetic field. The outer core of the earth is composed of molten nickel and iron. Due to continuous rotational movement, these chemicals produce a convective motion. This motion, in combination with the surrounding electrical current, produces the magnetic field.

The migratory birds use this magnetic field to migrate such long distances. They have special sensory structures in the brain to sense the seasonal change in the magnetic field and find their pathways to travel from one place to another.

Aren’t these facts about magnetic fields interesting?

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