No Armageddon during Earth's magnetic switch, say German researchers

五月 18, 2004

Brussels, 17 May 2004

Fears that we will be bombarded by harmful radiation from space when the Earth's magnetic field falters during the next reversal of its poles are unfounded, according to German researchers.

Scientists believe that there are increasing signs that our planet's magnetic polarity is preparing to reverse - something that last happened 730,000 years ago. Some have speculated that during the process, when the Earth's protective magnetic field can drop to below ten per cent of its normal strength for many centuries, there will be nothing to stop lethal radiation reaching the planet's surface, with potentially calamitous consequences for life.

However, a new simulation by researchers from the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute in Garching, Germany, suggests that the Sun will come to the rescue of its third satellite. The team believes that the solar wind - a million kilometres per hour stream of hydrogen and helium nuclei - will wrap itself around the Earth, creating a magnetic field as strong as the Earth's own.

Describing seeing the first results of the simulation, the University of Munich's Harald Lesch said: 'We were quite surprised about its effectiveness.' Their research comes at just the right time - the magnetic north pole has wandered some 1,100 kilometres in the last 200 years, and its strength is dropping at a rate of five per cent every century, both signs that a magnetic switch could be imminent.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
Item source: http://dbs.cordis.lu/cgi-bin/srchidadb?C ALLER=NHP_EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN= EN_RCN_ID:22042

Please Login or Register to read this article.

请先注册再进行下一步

获得一个月的无限制地在线阅读网站内容。只需注册并完成您的职业简介.

注册是免费的,而且非常简单。一旦成功注册,您可以每个月免费阅读3篇文章。:

  • 获得编辑推荐文章
  • 率先获得泰晤士高等教育世界大学排名相关的新闻
  • 获得职位推荐、筛选工作和保存工作搜索结果
  • 参与读者讨论和公布评论
Register
Please Login or Register to read this article.