• Europe
  • Rune Floberghagen
  • European Space Agency

ESA’s SWARM Reveals Most Recent Changes in Earth’s Magnetic Field

ESA’s SWARM Reveals Most Recent Changes in Earth’s Magnetic Field

European Space Agency's (ESA) SWARM mission has confirmed earth's magnetic North Pole shift. Launched in November 2013, SWARM is providing detailed information about the working of earth's magnetic field.

The SWARM comprises three 9-metre satellites orbiting the planet at the altitudes of 300 to 530 km. Its goal is to observe earth's magnetic fields and changes taking place in it.

Officials found earth's magnetic North Pole to be shifting for quite some time now. It is not located on the geographic North Pole, but on an axis around which the planet has been revolving for eons.

As per the observations, the magnetic North Pole is present across Arctic Oceans towards Siberia. Measurements made over the six months have confirmed that major weakening of the field has taken place over the Western Hemisphere.

The magnetic field has strengthened since January over the southern Indian Ocean. The data from the SWARM will help scientists have better understanding of the working of earth's magnetic fields. Also, scientists will get to know as to how Solar Activity affects magnetic field and why certain parts are getting weakened.

Earth's magnetic field is important as it is the one that has protected mankind from severe radiations from the Sun and other sources present in deep space.

"These initial results demonstrate the excellent performance of Swarm. With unprecedented resolution, the data also exhibit Swarm's capability to map fine-scale features of the magnetic field", said Rune Floberghagen, ESA's Swarm Mission Manager.

Earth's magnetic poles periodically reverse and the process takes thousands of years. During the process, the field undergoes unpredictable changes. But even when these changes take place, the magnetic field remains protective.

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