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Thread: Earth's magnetic field

  1. #1 Earth's magnetic field 
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    What would happen if you take away earth's magnetic field? How would it effect our solar system?


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    no effect on the solar system at all

    maximum effect on the mutation rate on earth though


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3 Re: Earth's magnetic field 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sohail
    What would happen if you take away earth's magnetic field? How would it effect our solar system?
    This is a wholly hypothetical question, of course. The field is dependent upon a self exciting dynamo within the liquid outer core. This should remain effective for a few billion years more.
    Field reversals do not actually involve a reduction of the field to zero at any point, but rather its increase in complexity and eventual reversal.

    Marnix, given that charged particles are channeled by the field towards the poles, and your belief that the mutation rate will increase if the field did go away, can you explain why polar bears do not show a higher mutation rate than their more southerly cousins?
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  5. #4  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    good point, hadn't thought of that
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    interesting snippet in the Sunday Times :

    "They [astronomers] believe that water was stripped from the planet [Venus] by solar winds. Only the Earth's magnetic field prevents the same from happening here."

    if this statement is true, then the magnetic field definitely makes a difference

    which raises the question : why does Venus have no magnetic field if it's nearly the same size of the earth ? could the presence of a sizable moon make a difference ?
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    which raises the question : why does Venus have no magnetic field if it's nearly the same size of the earth ? could the presence of a sizable moon make a difference ?
    I believe (but am not 100% sure) that the difference lies in the rotation rates of the two planets: once every 24 hrs versus once every couple of hundred days.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i suppose we don't have any information on the status of venus's core ?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    i suppose we don't have any information on the status of venus's core ?
    Venus core is thought to be very much like earth, Iron Core, molten rocky mantle with a crust. "Molten" indicates some heat still exist...

    It is thought they lost there magnetic field from slow rotation, which is nearly 250 of our days.

    Mars has also lost its field, probably more recently than Venus. Some of its outer atmosphere still exist, however it is much further from the solar effects than either Earth and especially Venus...

    The last shift in the Earths Magnetic field was about 750K years ago, with an average of each 60k years before.
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  10. #9  
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    Contrary to populat belief, the earth’s magnetic field has little to do with protecting us from radiation. Our radiation shielding comes almost entirely from the earth’s atmosphere.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    The magnetic field protects us from the charged particles and other nasty bits in solar wind.

    So without a magnetic field, we'd be screwed pretty quick.
    Wolf
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  12. #11  
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    Well, according to the movie The Core, we'd be exposed to solar microwaves and the earth would catch on fire, and the Golden Gate Bridge would melt.

    In real life, the atmosphere would ablate off due to solar wind.
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  13. #12  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    The core was a massive dissapointment of a movie! Anyway, I'm not too sure that the atmosphere would ablate away. Venus still has it's atmosphere, dispite a very week magnetic field and being closer to the sun. The solar wind is to blame though for the absence of water on Venus.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    The magnetic field protects us from the charged particles and other nasty bits in solar wind.

    So without a magnetic field, we'd be screwed pretty quick.
    The magnetic field only offers a tiny amount of protection compared to the atmosphere. Astronauts and satilites in orbit have to worry a lot about radiation because they are no longer protected by the atmosphere, even though they are still deep inside the earth's magnetic field.
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    How far out would you need to go before reaching the Van allen belt ?
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  16. #15  
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    The inner belt is from around 700 km - 10,000 km above the Earth. The outer belt extends from 31,000 - 65,000 km.
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