A new study indicates that there is a possible connection between the Earth's inner core and a magnetic reversal. Now the researchers speculate that there are signs that the next magnetic pole reversal may be underway.
Bruce Buffett of the University of California, Berkeley, says the authors present an intriguing proof of concept with their model. If that happens, Alaska may be in danger of losing one of its most stunning natural phenomena - the Northern Lights. Earth's magnetic field has flipped its polarity many times over the millennia and reversals are the rule, not the exception. A schematic diagram of Earth's interior and the movement of magnetic north from 1900 to 1996.
The year is 2029 and a very dangerous asteroid named Apophis is making its closest approach to Earth.
Humans are awaiting this moment with great anxiety as they will finally learn whether the space killer will strike Earth when it returns in the year 2036. A favorite theme of science fiction is "the portal"--an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travelers to distant realms. The Milky Way keeps challenging astronomers who now say that some of our galaxy's spiral arms are straight rather than curved.
An amazing achievement - a Star Trek-like holodeck was created by a Queen's University researcher. Once upon a time, the biblical patriarch Jacob had a dream of a ladder leading to heaven, and angels ascending and descending on it. It was written in Hieratic and although portions of it were eaten away by ants, it was a very precious ancient document. Scientists announced that the Large Hadron Collider, often referred to as the Big Bang machine has detected an unknown particle composed of three quarks. The good news is that from now on it will be possible to see things we have previously only dreamt of. A group of European astronomers has discovered an ancient planetary system that is likely to be a survivor from one of the earliest cosmic eras, 13 billion years ago. The system consists of the star HIP 11952 and two planets, which have orbital periods of 290 and 7 days, respectively.
In a scientific breakthrough, Brisbane researchers, have been able to photograph the shadow of a single atom for the first time. The use of stars, planets and stellar constellations for navigation was of fundamental importance for mankind for thousands of years.
Have you ever asked yourself how the starship Enterprise in the TV series Star Trek found its way through the depths of space? Earth's first cellular life probably arose in vats of warm, slimy mud fed by volcanically heated steam and not in primordial oceans, scientists say.
We humans live on just 12% of the total land area and only on 4% of the whole surface area. The average distance between the Sun and the Earth is about 92,935,700 miles (150 million Km).
The distance of the Earth from the Sun is 150 million kilometers approximately, which made the right distance to sustain life. The outer core of the earth, between the inner core and the mantle, is made of liquid iron and nickel. Nobody has ever taken the mythical journey to the center of the Earth, but by studying the way shock waves from earthquakes travel through the planet, physicists have been able to work out its likely structure.
The Moon's size is adequate, and the Earth-Moon distance is small enough to produce tides of appropriate size, and to provide a good-sized night light. The gravitational force between the Sun and the Earth makes the Earth to spin at the right speed, the tilt in the angle of the Earth also helps in the required development of life.
Events happened over the time of 4.6 billion years could evolve a tribal man to most advanced beings enriched with technology advancements. The atmosphere of the earth holds the most appropriate gasses in the most appropriate ratio needed for the survival not only of human beings, but also of all the living beings on the earth.
Since the earth is the third planet in the solar system, it must receive less amount of heat compared to the Sun, thereby it should be cooler.
Our knowledge of what's inside the Earth has improved immensely since Newton's time, but his estimate of the density remains essentially unchanged. Many scientists came up with their own theories till the time when Newton proposed that Earth's interior is made up of much denser material.
The interior of the Earth is like a layered onion, with three main shells namely Crust, Mantle and Core. Although the core and mantle are almost of equal thickness, the actual core forms only 15% of the Earth's volume, whereas the mantle occupies 84%. Tectonic plates are composed of oceanic lithosphere and thicker continental lithosphere, each topped by its own kind of crust.
After the formation of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, the heavier objects like iron moved to the core and the lighter elements like water settled at the crust. In general, the Earth's crust is made of metals and minerals like iron (32%), oxygen (30%), silicon (15%), magnesium (14%), sulfur (3%), nickel (2%) and some traces of aluminum, calcium. The thickness of oceanic crust ranges from 5 to 10 km where as the thickness of continental crust ranges from 30 to 50 km. The continental crust is made mostly of rocks similar to a granite composition, whereas the oceanic crust is made of rocks with a composition of basalt like rocks that make up the volcanoes.
Mantle convection is the slow creeping motion of Earth's solid silicate mantle caused by convection currents carrying heat from the interior of the Earth to the surface. The Earth's crust and the upper mantle are together known as lithosphere, which makes the tectonic plates. The dynamics of the Earth's lower mantle, the largest continuous region of the interior, plays a major role in controlling the thermal evolution of the planet.
The Earth's magnetic field controls the direction and speed at which Earth's inner and outer cores spin, even though they move in opposite directions, new research suggests.
Although the temperatures are extremely high, the pressure due to gravity in the inner core will be too high which makes the iron to remain solid even in such harsh temperatures.
The flow of liquid iron in the outer core is responsible for the generation of current, which in turn causes magnetic field.
The flow of liquid iron generates electric currents, which in turn produce magnetic fields. As the charged metals like iron and nickel passe through these magnetic fields, electric currents are generated. The planet is entirely magnetic due to the metal present in the middle of the Earth's Core. Earth's magnetic field, also known as the geomagnetic field, is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth's interior to where it meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun. The North and South magnetic poles wander widely, but sufficiently slowly for ordinary compasses to remain useful for navigation.
The magnetosphere is the region above the ionosphere and extends several tens of thousands of kilometers into space, protecting the Earth from the charged particles of the solar wind and cosmic rays that would otherwise strip away the upper atmosphere, including the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) reach Earth affecting planetary magnetics, sparking geomagnetic storms, shifting ocean and jet stream currents in the Pacific Ring of Fire, creating unusual and extreme global weather patterns, creating unstoppable Earth changes, and affecting the behavior patterns of all sentient life forms. Earth's last magnetic reversal took place 786,000 years ago and happened very quickly, in less than 100 years -- roughly a human lifetime. Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm. The solution to a long-standing puzzle, why magnetic north sits off the coast of Canada, rather than at the North Pole, may have been found in the strange, lopsided nature of Earth's inner core. For migratory birds and sea turtles, the ability to sense the Earth's magnetic field is crucial to navigating the long-distance voyages these animals undertake during migration.
Humans may have a sixth sense after all, suggests a new study finding that a protein in the human retina, when placed into fruit flies, has the ability to detect magnetic fields. A light-sensitive protein in the human eye has been shown to act as a "compass" in a magnetic field, when it is present in flies' eyes. In order to date environmental events from Earth's history such as meteorite impacts or climate change - geologists have long studied variations in slow-growing seafloor sedimentary rocks called ferromanganese crusts that build up in layers over the eons. Scientists have managed to push back the date for the earliest known presence of a magnetic field on Earth by about 250 million years.
Building on prior investigation into the biological mechanisms through which monarch butterflies are able to migrate up to 2,000 miles from eastern North America to a particular forest in Mexico each year, neurobiologists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have linked two related photoreceptor proteins found in butterflies to animal navigation using the Earth's magnetic field.
The magnetic equivalent of electricity in a 'spin ice' material: atom sized north and south poles in spin ice drift in opposite directions when a magnetic field is applied. Princeton University scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth's magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate. The flow of seawater across Earth's surface could be responsible for small fluctuations in the planet's magnetic field, a controversial new study says.
NASA's Swift satellite reported multiple blasts of radiation from a rare object known as a soft gamma repeater, or SGR.
An enormous eruption has found its way to Earth after traveling for many thousands of years across space. Based on studies of old volcanic basalt, scientists know that the EarthOs magnetic field reverses at irregular intervals, ranging from tens of thousands to millions of years. An unexpected, thick layer of solar particles inside Earth's magnetic field suggests there are huge breaches in our planet's solar defenses.
Scientists have found two large leaks in Earth's magnetosphere, the region around our planet that shields us from severe solar storms.

NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist.
Ancient lava flows are guiding a better understanding of what generates and controls the Earth's magnetic field - and what may drive it to occasionally reverse direction.
Rapid changes in the churning movement of Earth's liquid outer core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet's surface, a new study says. Earth's magnetic field is weakening in staggered steps, a new analysis of centuries-old ships logs suggests.The finding could help scientists better understand the way Earth's magnetic poles reverse. One of the most fascinating natural phenomena on Earth is the flipping of its magnetic field, which has occurred hundreds of times in the last 160 million years. After some 400 years of relative stability, Earth's North Magnetic Pole has moved nearly 1,100 kilometers out into the Arctic Ocean during the last century and at its present rate could move from northern Canada to Siberia within the next half-century. A long look at a young pulsar with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed unexpectedly rapid cooling, which suggests that it contains much denser matter than previously expected. Earth's magnetic field has flipped many times over the last billion years, according to the geologic record. Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say. Hard X-rays can penetrate solid objects, and their largest use is to take images of the inside of objects in diagnostic radiography and crystallography.
The roentgen (R) is an obsolete traditional unit of exposure, which represented the amount of radiation required to create one electrostatic unit of charge of each polarity in one cubic centimeter of dry air. The rad is the (obsolete) corresponding traditional unit, equal to 10 millijoules of energy deposited per kilogram.
The sievert (Sv) is the SI unit of equivalent dose, which for X-rays is numerically equal to the gray (Gy). X-rays are generated by an X-ray tube, a vacuum tube that uses a high voltage to accelerate the electrons released by a hot cathode to a high velocity. In crystallography, a copper target is most common, with cobalt often being used when fluorescence from iron content in the sample might otherwise present a problem. X-ray fluorescence: If the electron has enough energy it can knock an orbital electron out of the inner electron shell of a metal atom, and as a result electrons from higher energy levels then fill up the vacancy and X-ray photons are emitted. So the resulting output of a tube consists of a continuous bremsstrahlung spectrum falling off to zero at the tube voltage, plus several spikes at the characteristic lines. In medical diagnostic applications, the low energy (soft) X-rays are unwanted, since they are totally absorbed by the body, increasing the dose. To generate an image of the cardiovascular system, including the arteries and veins (angiography) an initial image is taken of the anatomical region of interest. A specialized source of X-rays which is becoming widely used in research is synchrotron radiation, which is generated by particle accelerators. The most commonly known methods are photographic plates, photographic film in cassettes, and rare earth screens. Before the advent of the digital computer and before invention of digital imaging, photographic plates were used to produce most radiographic images. Since photographic plates are sensitive to X-rays, they provide a means of recording the image, but they also required much X-ray exposure (to the patient), hence intensifying screens were devised.
Areas where the X-rays strike darken when developed, causing bones to appear lighter than the surrounding soft tissue. Contrast compounds containing barium or iodine, which are radiopaque, can be ingested in the gastrointestinal tract (barium) or injected in the artery or veins to highlight these vessels. An increasingly common method is the use of photostimulated luminescence (PSL), pioneered by Fuji in the 1980s.
The PSP plate can be reused, and existing X-ray equipment requires no modification to use them. For many applications, counters are not sealed but are constantly fed with purified gas, thus reducing problems of contamination or gas aging. Some materials such as sodium iodide (NaI) can "convert" an X-ray photon to a visible photon; an electronic detector can be built by adding a photomultiplier.
More and more devices that have long been considered pure science fiction are now quickly becoming reality.
Astronomers refer to this distance as one astronomical unit (AU) which is the distance light travels in about eight and a half minutes. Complex currents in this layer give rise to a dynamo effect which is responsible for earth's magnetic field.
These events also made the evolution of many things like formation of moon, and extinction of many beings like Dinosaurs during a meteor strike.
The core is the inner part of the earth, the crust is the outer part and between them is the mantle. The types of rocks or minerals found in the Outer Core are Iron,oxygen, sulfur and Nickel alloy. The rocks get redistributed inside the crust during natural process of eruption of lava, consolidation of rock particles, erosion, solidification and re‐crystallization of porous rock. These plates float on the mantle (next layer) smoothly, but sometimes they stick together to build up pressure and the rocks bend ultimately leading to an Earth quake. Constant movements of the oceanic and continental crusts can cause earth quakes and volcanic eruptions. Even though mantle is covered by crust we can sometimes observe it during earth quakes and volcanic eruptions. In few places these tectonic plates will be spreading apart, where the volcanic material tries to fill the gap. Since the liquid in the outer core is responsible for the magnetic field of the Earth, it could change the location of the magnetic poles of the earth as per the rotation of the outer core. Charged metals passing through these fields go on to create electric currents of their own, and so the cycle continues.
The outer core also spins along with the inner core, but at a different rate, which leads to a creation of the dynamo effect. This cycle of electric and magnetic fields would be continuous resulting in strong magnetic field of Earth. However, at irregular intervals averaging several hundred thousand years, the Earth's field reverses and the North and South Magnetic Poles relatively abruptly switch places. The rapid flip, much faster than the thousands of years most geologists thought, comes as new measurements show the planet's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal and could drop to zero in a few thousand years. The layers can be dated by various means, such as by analyzing radioactive isotopes, but those methods don't provide accurate dating on small scales: a millimeter of rock, for example, can include information that spans as much as hundreds of thousands of years. The shift widens the distance between true north and magnetic north, which is the direction a compass needle points.
Experts know birds possess an internal magnetic compass, but there is disagreement about what form it takes. The findings may lead to a better understanding of historical continental movement, which relates to changes in climate. If so, the research would challenge the widely accepted theory that Earth's magnetic field is generated by a churning molten core, or dynamo, in the planet's interior.
Now, astronomers report an in-depth study of these eruptions using the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton and International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) satellites. Volcanic basalt rock contains magnetite, and when the rock cools, its magnetic properties are frozen, recording the Earth's magnetic field of the time. These breaches indicate that during the next period of high solar activity, due to start in 2012, Earth will experience some of the worst solar storms seen in decades.
The leaks are defying many of scientists' previous ideas on how the interaction between Earth's magnetosphere and solar wind occurs: The leaks are in an unexpected location, let in solar particles in faster than expected and the whole interaction works in a manner that is completely the opposite of what scientists had thought.
Solar wind can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. The main magnetic field, generated by turbulent currents within the deep mass of molten iron of the Earth's outer core, periodically flips its direction, such that a compass needle would point south rather than north.
The planet's magnetic field flips - north becomes south and vice versa - on average every 300,000 years. If that happens, Alaska may be in danger of losing one of its most stunning natural phenomena ? the Northern Lights. The pulsar's cool temperature and the vast magnetic web of high-energy particles that surrounds it have implications for the theory of nuclear matter and the origin of magnetic fields in cosmic objects. But only in the past decade have scientists developed and evolved a computer model to demonstrate how these reversals occur. Like a Kryptonite-challenged Superman, its strength has steadily and mysteriously waned, leaving parts of the planet vulnerable to increased radiation from space. James Ross located the pole for the first time in 1831 after an exhausting arctic journey during which his ship got stuck in the ice for four years In 1904, Roald Amundsen found the pole again and discovered that it had moved at least 50 km since the days of Ross. This process produces an emission spectrum of X-ray frequencies, sometimes referred to as the spectral lines.
The intensity of the X-rays increases linearly with decreasing frequency, from zero at the energy of the incident electrons, the voltage on the X-ray tube. A second image is then taken of the same region after iodinated contrast material has been injected into the blood vessels within this area.
The contrast compounds have high atomic numbered elements in them that (like bone) essentially block the X-rays and hence the once hollow organ or vessel can be more readily seen. In modern hospitals a photostimulable phosphor plate (PSP plate) is used in place of the photographic plate. Scientists discovered 70 planets beyond the solar system, but the expected number is around ten billion trillion. The gases that emerge out from the interior will get mixed up with the Earth’s atmosphere, which helps life to sustain.

As the moon starts to move away, then it would effect the stability of the Earth's rotation around its own axis.
The convection process (heat transfer by circulation of currents in a fluid from one region to other) will take place slowly inside a volcano. The lower mantle of the earth starts at a depth of about 670 kilometers, and extends to a depth of 2900 kilometers beneath the planet's surface. This magnetic field acts as a guard to protect the earth from charged bodies floating in the solar system.
But long term observations show that it is DECREASING at a rate of about 0.07 percent PER YEAR.
Roughly speaking it is the field of a magnetic dipole currently tilted at an angle of about 10 degrees with respect to Earth's rotational axis, as if there were a bar magnet placed at that angle at the center of the Earth. These reversals of the geomagnetic poles leave a record in rocks that are of value to paleomagnetists in calculating geomagnetic fields in the past.
It is surrounded by a liquid outer core (mostly iron and nickel), a rocky, viscous mantle layer and a thin, solid crust. One idea is that tiny magnets in the beak wired to the nervous system detect lines of magnetic force. By taking a closer look at the 1.1 billion-year-old volcanic rocks on the north shore of Lake Superior, the researchers have found that Earth's ancient magnetic field was a geocentric axial dipole -- essentially a large bar magnet centered in the core and aligned with the Earth's spin axis.
With this data, scientists estimate that the last magnetic field reversal occurred about 780,000 years ago. Such polarity reversals have occurred hundreds of times at irregular intervals throughout the planet's history - most recently about 780,000 years ago - but scientists are still trying to understand how and why. Scientists already suspected birds' eyes contain molecules that are thought to sense Earth's magnetic field.
The last time this happened was some 780,000 years ago, so we could be heading for another reversal soon. The pole kept going during the 20th century, north at an average speed of 10 km per year, lately accelerating to 40 km per year.
The spectral lines generated depend on the target (anode) element used and thus are called characteristic lines. These two images are then digitally subtracted, leaving an image of only the iodinated contrast outlining the blood vessels.
Photographic film largely replaced these plates, and it was used in X-ray laboratories to produce medical images.
In the pursuit of a non-toxic contrast material, many types of high atomic number elements were evaluated.
After the plate is X-rayed, excited electrons in the phosphor material remain "trapped" in "colour centres" in the crystal lattice until stimulated by a laser beam passed over the plate surface. Electrons accelerate toward the anode, in the process causing further ionization along their trajectory. Earth has got the right elements like oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, sodium, iron, nitrogen, cobalt, nickel, etc, which makes life possible and easy. About 47% of the Earth's crust consists of oxygen and it occurs as oxides of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, silicon, iron, aluminum, etc.
The Upper Mantle flows easily than the Lower Mantle because of increasing temperatures as the depth increases.
This lower mantle layer adds restrictions on the convection process and thermal state of Earth, for conversion of lateral variations of velocity into lateral variations in temperature.
When the solar wind reaches the Earth, it collides with the magnetic field, or magnetosphere, rather than with the atmosphere. This means that in 1500 years from now, it will only be about 35 percent as strong as it is today, and in 4000 years it will have a strength of practically zero. Unlike a bar magnet, however, Earth's magnetic field changes over time because it is generated by a geodynamo (in Earth's case, the motion of molten iron alloys in its outer core). Such information in turn is helpful in studying the motions of continents and ocean floors in the process of plate tectonics. New findings show that a missing piece of the traditional theory explaining why metals become less conductive when they are heated was needed to complete the puzzle of this field-generating process. As the inner core cools, crystallizing iron releases impurities, sending lighter molten material into the liquid outer core.
The planet's magnetic field is on the move, a normal enough phenomenon, but one that has some rather bizarre implications, such as the need to renumber airport runways. Another is that magnetic fields are ''seen'' via the eyes using a light-sensitive mechanism. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics. In a new study, German researchers found that these molecules are linked to an area of the brain known to process visual information.
There, the heat of the Earth's solid inner core churns a liquid outer core composed of iron and nickel. What is uncertain is whether the weakened field is on the way to a complete collapse and a reversal that would flip the North and South Poles. The radiologist or surgeon then compares the image obtained to normal anatomical images to determine if there is any damage or blockage of the vessel. In more recent years, computerized and digital radiography has been replacing photographic film in medical and dental applications, though film technology remains in widespread use in industrial radiography processes (e.g. For example, the first time the forefathers used contrast it was chalk, and was used on a cadaver's vessels.
This process, known as a Townsend avalanche, is detected as a sudden current, called a "count" or "event". It raises to the crust and gets cooled down traveling back to the core and this process continues and drives the motions of tectonic plates.
Because the magnetic field is a critical buffer shielding the biosphere from cosmic rays and charged particles from the Sun, the health hazard posed by the Earth loosing its magnetic field is hard to comprehend. This upwelling, combined with the Earth's rotation, drives convection, forcing the molten metal into whirling vortices. Tampa International Airport on Florida's west coast just finished renaming its three runways, a laborious project that interrupted airport traffic for a month while runways were shut down for repainting. The new research suggests that, for robins at least, the second theory is probably correct. In that sense, "birds may see the magnetic field," said study lead author Dominik Heyers, a biologist at the University of Oldenburg.
Since 1840, when accurate measures of the intensity were first made, the field strength has declined by about 5 percent per century. The churning acts like convection, which generates electric currents and, as a result, a magnetic field.
When the film is developed, the parts of the image corresponding to higher X-ray exposure are dark, leaving a white shadow of bones on the film. The geologic record, however, shows that the Earth's polarity flips every 250,000 years or so and that presumably half way through each 'flip' cycle, the field goes to a value near zero. German scientists studied 36 European robins and found birds with damage to ''cluster N'' were unable to orientate themselves using the Earth's magnetic field. Human-made compasses work by using Earth as an enormous magnet and orienting a tiny magnet attached to a needle to the planet's north and south poles. If this decline is continuous, the magnetic field could drop to zero and reverse sometime within the next 2,000 years. Photographic plates are mostly things of history, and their replacement, the "intensifying screen", is also fading into history. There are no identifiable fossil effects from previous flips, so perhaps they are not as mutagenic as we might suppose. Currently, the center of the field, called an axis, emerges in the Arctic Ocean west of Ellesmere Island, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) from the geographic North Pole. But the field might not always be in steady decline, according to a new study appearing in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science. The metal silver (formerly necessary to the radiographic & photographic industries) is a non-renewable resource.
On the other hand, perhaps other species are less susceptible to genetic damage than we humans! The rotational effect helps scientists understand what's happening inside the Earth's core. Thus it is beneficial that this is now being replaced by digital (DR) and computed (CR) technology.
We know that many species of bacteria, birds and fish can sense the direction of the magnetic field and use it for migration and finding food in murky waters. Where photographic films required wet processing facilities, these new technologies do not. These animals may perish 'suddenly' when the field changes and they can no longer rely on it to orient themselves.
We have never experienced loosing our magnetic field, and the fossil record is pretty mute about the effects. No one really knows if the condition of zero-field will last 5 years, 10 years or 500 years. If you want to read more about the details of how the magnetic field has changed during the last 800,000 years, have a look at the classroom material at Magnetic Reversals and Variation at the IMAGE web site.If you want to learn more about what happens during a magnetic reversal, read the IMAGE satelite article Magnetic Reversals: Back to the future?

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