It should no longer be a secret that the Moon is responsible for the tides we have on Earth. Its gravitational draws water to and from coasts. This movement also creates a weak magnetic field that surrounds our planet. As they ebb and flow, the salt waters are able to create a magnetic signal. However, recently, some satellites have managed to map this mysterious magnetic field in detail. This is why the results of the European Space Agency mission impressed everyone at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018 that took place in Vienna, Austria. The team dubbed this field the “swarm”.
According to expert Nils Olsen, scientists have found it very difficult to track this magnetic field simply because it is so small. It actually measures about 2-2.5 nanotesla at satellite altitude. This is 20,000 times weaker than our planet’s global magnetic field. The hot liquid iron that is in the Earth’s outer core is what generates the majority of its magnetism. However, the ocean field also generates a much smaller magnetic signal, making an important contribution to the overall signal of the Earth.
A second magnetic field surrounding the Earth
According to an official statement, this newly-discovered magnetic field offers a glimpse into how the ocean actually flows at all depths. Moreover, thanks to it, experts might be able to understand more about climate change and the electrical activity from inside the Earth. Olsen says that it’s important to track how the heat from the air is being distributed. This way, we might find out more about how and why our climate is continuously changing.
The “swarm” will most probably help experts understand what is going on with the electricity inside Earth’s lithosphere and upper mantle. Moreover, the team can now find out more about tectonic activity that triggers earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Image source: flickr