(7) The Earth's Magnetic Shield

Photo credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Our fragile biosphere's only protection from the solar wind's full onslaught is provided by the Earth's atmosphere (the thin blue layer in the photograph) and its magnetic field (which acts as a shield against the sun's radiation and magnetic fields).

The Earth's First Line of Defense -- Its magnetic field

The invisible world of magnetic fields

Why is the Earth a giant magnet?

Where are the Earth's north and south magnetic poles?

How does the Earth's magnetic field protect us from space radiation?

Movie showing solar wind plasma and the magnetosphere (2.9 MB movie player document)

Movie courtesy of Rice University

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