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Earth's Magnetosphere, Artwork
24" x 18"
Photographic Print

Earth's magnetic field. Artwork showing Earth's magnetosphere (blue) in the solar wind (not to scale). The field lines originate from the poles, and form a shield that protects the Earth from the radiation of the solar wind (orange). The solar wind is made up of energetic charged particles. Earth's magnetic field channels these towards the poles, where they collide with the atmosphere and produce aurorae. The pressure of the solar wind causes Earth's magnetic field to be flattened on the sunward side and form a tail millions of kilometres long pointing away from the Sun. The field is generated by currents of molten iron in the Earth's core.