Swarm Scientific Highlights
Magnetic oceans and electric Earth
04 October 2016
Oceans might not be thought of as magnetic, but they make a tiny contribution to our planet's protective magnetic shield. Remarkably, ESA's Swarm satellites have not only measured this extremely faint field, but have also led to new discoveries about the electrical nature of inner Earth.
The magnetic field shields us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth from the Sun. Without it, the atmosphere as we know it would not exist, rendering life virtually impossible.
Scientists need to learn more about our protective field to understand many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside the planet, to weather in space caused by solar activity. This information will then yield a better understanding of why Earth's magnetic field is weakening.