How Earth’s magnetosphere protects us from the Sun • Earth.com

How Earth’s magnetosphere protects us from the Sun

03-27-2018


How Earth’s magnetosphere protects us from the Sun Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA and features a look at how the Earth’s magnetosphere deflects harmful solar material to keep us safe.

Much of this solar material is moving towards the Earth at 1 million miles per hour, if not faster. Without the protection of the magnetosphere, this solar material could destroy Earth’s protective layers that shield us from UV radiation.

In fact, it is thought that solar wind stripped Mars of its own atmosphere 4.2 billion years ago, after its own magnetosphere deteriorated, leaving the planet barren. Earth’s magnetic field is a layer of electrical charge that surrounds our planet. The field protects life on our planet because it deflects charged particles fired from the sun known as ‘solar wind‘. Without this protective layer, these particles would likely strip away the Ozone layer, our only line of defence against harmful UV radiation.  If Earth lost its magnetic field, there would be no magnetosphere – and no line of defense, even from weaker solar storms. Our power grids would be more vulnerable than ever, and even our computers and other electronics could suffer damage if a solar storm struck.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA

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