This is an image of the Earth's magnetosphere.
Click on image for full size
Original artwork by the Windows to the Universe team.
A magnetosphere has many parts, such as the bow shock, magnetosheath, magnetotail, plasmasheet, lobes,
plasmasphere, radiation belts and many electric currents.
Particles in the magnetosphere cause aurora and natural radio emissions such as lion roars and whistler waves.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
The magnetosheath is the space between the bow shock and the magnetopause. ...more
The plasma sheet is just that, a sheet of plasma. It is much thicker than a sheet of paper though! In fact, it is much thicker than the distance through the middle of the Earth! ...more
The lobes of the magnetosphere are a huge area between the magnetopause and the plasma sheet....more
You may have heard your teacher talk about the 4 states of matter. Do you remember what they are? Solids (like your desk), liquids (like the milk you pour in your cereal), gases (like the air you blow...more
You may have seen a spider web catch bugs in it. Well, the Earth's magnetic field is kind of like a spider's web. It catches particles (protons and electrons) in it. The Earth's magnetic field catches...more
Besides the beautiful aurora at the north and south poles, the magnetosphere generates lots of noisy radio signals. These signals tell us that something is happening within the magnetosphere, such as particles...more
The Earth has a magnetic field with north and south poles. The magnetic field of the Earth is surrounded by the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere keeps most of the particles from the sun, carried in solar...more