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.
Magnetic complexity begins to untangle
22 June 2015
After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere - all the way from the ionosphere about 100 km above, through to the outer reaches of our protective magnetic shield.
A series of scientific papers published recently in Geophysical Research Letters and collected in a special issue, confirms the remarkable potential of this unique mission.
Rune Floberghagen, ESA's Swarm Mission Manager, said, "These results show that all the meticulous effort that went into making Swarm the best-ever spaceborne magnetometry mission is certainly paying off."
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