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The geomagnetic field is a fundamental property of our planet – it protects us from the solar wind, helps us navigate, and observations of local and global geomagnetic field variation on timescales from hours to years reveals information on a multitude of Earth and near-Earth phenomena such as ocean circulation pattern, tides, plasma bubbles in the Earth ionosphere and jet-streams in the core of our planet. Magnetic field fluctuations associated with natural phenomena such as earthquakes and hurricanes can also be observed, and close monitoring of the geomagnetic field variations by satellite systems will further enhance our knowledge and understanding of the coupling of our complex Earth and near-Earth system.


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Earth's magnetic heartbeat

10 May 2016

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With more than two years of measurements by ESA's Swarm satellite trio, changes in the strength of Earth's magnetic field are being mapped in detail.

Launched at the end of 2013, Swarm is measuring and untangling the different magnetic signals from Earth's core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere - an undertaking that will take several years to complete.

Although invisible, the magnetic field and electric currents in and around Earth generate complex forces that have immeasurable effects on our everyday lives.

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