Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Annual to decadal changes in the earth’s magnetic field in a region that stretches from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean have a close relationship with variations of gravity in this area. Maps of the vertical downward component (sign-changed radial component) of the core magnetic field (A) and its secular variation (B) as estimated at the CMB from the GRIMM-3 model up to spherical harmonic degree 13. The main field of the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by flows of liquid iron in the outer core. Evolution of the secular acceleration of the vertical downward component of the geomagnetic field computed at the Earth’s surface (as obtained from GRIMM-3 model), which evolves smoothly over the last decade.
They used magnetic field measurements of the GFZ-satellite CHAMP and extremely accurate measurements of the Earth’s gravity field derived from the GRACE mission, which is also under the auspices of the GFZ. A satellite only measures the total gravity, which consists of the mass fractions of Earth’s body, water and ice on the ground and in the air. Credit; WikipediaDuring the investigation, the team focused on an area between the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, as the determined currents flows were the highest here. Magnetic fields emerging from below the surface of the sun influence the solar wind—a stream of particles that blows continuously from the sun’s atmosphere through the solar system.

The knowledge gained through simulation results like this one help researchers better understand the sun, its variations, and its interactions with Earth and the solar system. A second, independent access could be represented by the measurement of minute changes in gravity caused by the fact that the flow in the liquid Earth’s core is associated with mass displacements.
This animation shows a patch of acceleration migrating from India around 2003 to the southwest of the Indian Ocean in 2008, while a strong patch of deceleration grows in the middle Atlantic to reach a maximum in 2006 and then vanishes rapidly. The tubes represent magnetic field lines, blue when the field points towards the center and yellow when away. To determine the mass redistribution by flows in the outer core, the thus attained share of the total gravity needs to be filtered out. Extremely fast changes (so-called magnetic jerks) were observed in the year 2007 at the Earth’s surface.
Until now, for example, it was assumed that the differences in the density of the molten iron in the earth’s core are not large enough to generate a measurable signal in the earth’s gravitational field.
Researchers at NASA and its university partners are using high-fidelity computer simulations to learn how these magnetic fields emerge, heat the sun’s outer atmosphere and produce sunspots and flares. This is the result presented by a German-French group of geophysicists in the latest issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States).

Therefore, understanding the processes in the outer core is important to understand the terrestrial shield. The research group has now succeeded to provide the first evidence of such a connection of fluctuations in the Earth’s gravity and magnetic field. These are an indication for sudden changes of liquid flows in the upper outer core and are important for understanding the magneto-hydrodynamics in the Earth’s core. Spatial and temporal scales of the physical processes causing mass variations in the Earth system. The newly determined mass flows in the upper outer core allow a new approach to Earth’s core hydrodynamics. The data records of the GFZ-satellite missions CHAMP and GRACE enabled this for the first time. Using the satellite data, a clear signal of gravity data from the Earth’s core could be received for the first time.

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