In case you didn’t know, the universe is a terribly hostile place for most lifeforms. At least, it is if you don’t have proper protection. Take our own star, for example. The Sun gives life to everything on Earth, but it is also a violent inferno that shoots off high energy particles that could seriously disrupt Earth’s natural systems. Fortunately, for us, our planet has protection. Ultimately, the Earth is encased in a magnetic field, which is generated by the rotating, liquid iron core…

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Supercomputer model of Earth's magnetic field. Scientists believe that gyrating iron fluid generates Earth's magnetic field, like a giant dynamo. Both yearly and millennial-scale changes in the field have been attributed to the swirling, spinning outer core. Tracking changes in the magnetic field helps researchers create models of how the dynamo may work.

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Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from harmful blasts of solar radiation, is much older than scientists had previously thought. This invisible, protective shield likely existed shortly after the planet formed; a finding that could shed light on why Earth is habitable and Mars is not. Earth's magnetic field helped make life on the planet possible. Without our magnetic field, solar winds would strip away the planet's atmosphere and oceans.

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Magnetic Fields of Venus, Earth and Mars. I love this piece because it reminds me of just how special,fragile and protected Mother Earth is when it comes to having and feeling the full on powerful force of the SUN.

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The northern lights are more formally known as auroras, and are caused by interactions between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field. #infographic

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Supercomputer models of Earth's magnetic field. On the left is a normal dipolar magnetic field. On the right is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth has leading up to a reversal.

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Earth's magnetic field reversed extremely rapidly soon after modern humans first arrived in Europe, completely flip-flopping in less than a thousand years, new research suggests. These findings, detailed Oct. 15 in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters,could shed light on how and why magnetic field reversals happen, and how they leave Earth vulnerable to solar and space radiation, the study scientists said. Earth's magnetic field is generated by the roiling of its outer liquid…

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