The Earth is an enormous magnet, and its magnetic power extends distant into space. It has south and north magnetic poles that reverses at uneven periods of hundreds of thousands of years. The magnetic field of the Earth reaches 36,000 miles into space, and it is surrounded in an area described as the magnetosphere (The Earth’s Magnetic Field p. 1). Magnetosphere is the region contiguous to the Earth where the latter’s magnetic field dominates.
The other planets in the universe including the sun have magnetospheres; however, of all the rocky planets, the Earth has the strongest magnetospheres (The Earth’s Magnetic Field p. 1). The magnetosphere averts the sun’s particles that are carried in solar wind from hitting the Earth. However, a number of particles from the solar wind can still penetrate the magnetosphere. The aforesaid particles that penetrate from the magnetotail pass through the Earth and generate the Aurora Borealis light exhibitions, and possibly more spectacular, magnetic storms, which can blow out communication and power systems on the planet.
Further, the said particles are accountable for various wonderful natural occurrences such as the natural radio emissions that produce the whistler waves and lion roars (Magnetosphere p. 1). The Earth’s magnetosphere is composed of magnetic flux and charged particles. It is extremely active, and has a number of key components, such as the radiation belts, plasmasphere, lobes, plasmasheet, magnetotail, magnetosheath, bow shock, and numerous electric currents (Magnetosphere p. 1).
The magnetosphere changes regularly, even spinning its course every few thousand years. Regardless of its low density, the solar wind is strong enough to cooperate with the Earth’s magnetic field to form magnetospheres. As the ions in the solar plasma are charged, they act together with these magnetic fields, and the particles of the solar wind are brushed away around planetary magnetospheres. The particles circulate and move around the magnetosphere and even produce storms.
The contour of the Earth’s magnetosphere is the direct consequence of being blasted by solar wind. Solar wind reduces its sunward side distance of merely 6 to 10 times of the Earth’s radius or some 67,000 kilometres (The Earth’s Magnetosphere p. 1). On the borders, or 90 degrees from there, the distance is approximately 15 Earth radii, and about 25 Earth radii in radius as the borders continue to move towards the cylinder (Stern p. 1). A supersonic shock wave is produced sunward of Earth to some extent like a sonic boom.
On the other hand the precise length of the night-side of the Solar wind is unknown; however, it is estimated that the nigh-side magnetosphere extends to 1,000 times the radius of the Earth (Magnetosphere p. 1). The Earth’s magnetosphere has no clear borders during midnight. In fact, what occurs is that exceeding 50 to 80 Earth radii the solar wind breaks into the magnetotail, so the substance is predominantly solar wind, although the magnetic field is still that of Earth. It persists like this for no less than 220 Earth radii (Stern p. 1).
Nevertheless, when the force of the solar wind increases, the perimeter shifts inwards, which erodes the magnetic field by process of reconnection. Therefore, a few occasions every year the perimeter overtakes satellites in synchronous orbit, at 6. 6 Earth radii (Stern p. 1). In contrast, resembling in 1999 when the solar wind was exceptionally profound, the noon-side perimeter went out exceeding 20 Earth radii (Stern p. 1). Our planet is bordered by an intense battle zone that commences only a few hundred kilometres above us and until now most of us are completely unaware to the fact.
Our innate protection from this assault is the Earth’s magnetosphere; an imperceptible bubble that is surrounding our whole planet. Performing like a cosmic punch-bag the magnetosphere is subjected to groups of solar wind charging away from the sun at supersonic paces and continuously bombarding this protective bubble. For that reason, life on Earth has developed underneath the shelter of this magnetosphere. Works Cited “Magnetosphere. ” 18 November 1996. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. 25 September 2008 <http://www.
windows. ucar. edu/tour/link=/physical_science/magnetism/planetary_magnetospheres. html>. Stern, David. “Get a Straight Answer. ” 28 September 2004. NASA. 25 September 2008 <http://www-spof. gsfc. nasa. gov/Education/FAQs3. html#q37>. “The Earth’s Magnetic Field. ” 3 June 2003. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. 25 September <http://www. windows. ucar. edu/tour/link=/earth/Magnetosphere/overview. html>. “The Earth’s Magnetosphere. ” 28 August 2008. Cosmicopia. 25 September 2008 <http://helios. gsfc. nasa. gov/magnet. html>.