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Earth’s Ever-Changing Magnetic Field

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Swarm space mission has begun mapping one of the most mysterious aspects of our planet: Earth’s magnetic field. This animation shows changes in Earth’s magnetic field from January to June 2014 as measured by the ESA’s Swarm trio of satellites. The satellites, launched in November, are equipped with several instruments, including cutting edge magnetometers that measure field strength and direction. The data collected by the Swarm satellites will help scientists better grasp how our magnetic field works, how it is affected by solar activity, and why large tracts of it is weakening. The ESA says field can be thought of as a huge bubble, protecting us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth in ‘solar winds’. Without it, those particles would hammer away at the atmosphere, leaving Earth much like Mars. via RT News.

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