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The AstronomersGeomagnetic field. Magnetosphere. Auroras
Geomagnetic field. Magnetosphere. Auroras
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Geomagnetic field. Magnetosphere. AurorasOne of the features of the Earth, which distinguishes it from other planets is the magnetic field and magnetosphere. As all magnetic fields, it can be represented with lines. Those points, where the field density has vertical position, represent the magnetic poles of our planet. There are two of them: the north magnetic pole and the south one. Their location does not coincide with the geographical poles of the Earth, although on the global scale they are not very distant from each other. The magnetic poles are constantly changing their position by several tens of kilometers per year. It should be noted that the usual designation of the poles as north and south are incorrect from a physical point of view. Let us recall that a compass needle, its north pole point, of course, to the north, but as the same poles should push each other away, we conclude that in fact the magnetic pole located in the northern hemisphere is actually the south one from the physical point of view. And vice versa. The straight line that crosses the poles is called the magnetic axis, and the line of the circle lying in the plane perpendicular to the axis is called the magnetic equator. Across this line, the magnetic field density has conventionally horizontal direction. At different points of the Earth, for example, at the poles and the equator, the field density is different. But on the average its value is 0.5 Oersted. What is the nature of the magnetic field of the Earth? There is no common opinion in this regard, but most likely its origin is related to the flow of currents in the liquid core of the planet. It is assumed that the Earth's core consists of liquid metal. When currents start to move in the core, the effect of self-generation of magnetic field, the magnetic dynamo mechanism is implemented. The area where this process occurs is located approximately at the distance of a quarter/one third of the Earth's radius. Magnetic field of a planet depends on the structure of the core, its composition and the physical state. For example, Venus doesn't have its own field. And the density of the other planets varies. For example, the fields of the Moon and Mercury are less intensive than the one of the Earth, and Saturn's and Jupiter's fields is much more intensive. The magnetic field of the Earth is constantly influenced by the flow of magnetized solar plasma. That is why its size and shape are constantly changing. These changes are called geomagnetic variations. And the area of the space, which is under the influence of the field of the planet, is called magnetosphere...
Added on Nov 27, 2012 by lonewolf
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