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October 12 2013

The past shows why Earth's magnetic field has weird shift today


Earth's magnetic field shields the planet from charged particles streaming from the sun, keeping it from becoming a barren, Mars-like rock. For more than 300 years, scientists have recorded a westward-drifting feature in the field that models have been unable to explain.

By relying on insights gleaned from previous work, as well as data collected over nearly four centuries, an international team of scientists has been able to provide a model that accounts for the western drift of the magnetic field on one side of the planet.

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