The molten core of our planet is rich in iron, generating a strong magnetic field with two poles. The field shields Earth against harmful cosmic radian and is also the source of the northern and southern lights, which are usually visible near the magnetic poles.
New reports suggest that the magnetic north pole has started to move at an accelerated rate, achieving a speed of 50 kilometers per year, on a trajectory which leads it over Siberia. Some researchers believed that the northern lights would move along with the pole, and a new study offers a comprehensive answer.
The magnetic field has a variety of uses, serving as a prime navigation tool for hundreds of years. Some animal species can detect it and find their ways during the migration periods. But the prime function is to protect living being from radiation. It covers the entirety of our planet in the form of a magnetosphere which can reflect high-energy cosmic rays and solar radiation. In some cases energetic particles may pierce through it, leading to the appearance of an impressive spectacle of lights.
Magnetic Poles Reversal Could Affect Auroras
As the molten core, our planet continues to flow the magnetic poles will change their position over time. Since the north magnetic pole was classified officially in 1831, it has traveled over 2,000 kilometers, from the Boothia Peninsula which is located in northern Canada to the Arctic sea.
In the past the speed at which it moves was relatively slow, reaching 9 kilometers per year. It started to increase rapidly at the end of the last century, reaching a top speed of 50 kilometers per year. While the south magnetic pole is also moving, it travels at a considerably lower speed which ranges between 10 to 15 kilometers per year.
The recent study notes that the auroras follow the geomagnetic poles, which move at a dramatically lower speed. Computer simulations infer that the auroras will stay where they are for now. The paper was published in a scientific journal.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere