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Entering the Plasmasphere - Windows to the Universe

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This animation shows how particles from the Sun are diverted by the Earth's magnetic field.
Movie provided courtesy of Professor Patricia Reiff, Rice University Connections Program

How Does the Earth's Magnetic Field Protect Us From Space Radiation?

Dangerous particles from the Sun don't hit the Earth's surface. They are forced by the Earth's magnetic field to move around the Earth. You can think of the Earth's magnetic field as a big shield from any dangerous particles that come from the Sun.

If you look at the movie, you'll see that some of the particles do make it to the Earth's atmosphere. These particles cause the aurora.

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