The Earth’s magnetic field, also known as the geomagnetic field, is the magnetic field that extends from the interior of the Earth to where it meets the solar wind , which is a stream of energy-charged particles emanating from the Sun. The term geomagnetism is closely related to the magnetic properties of the earth. It is known that the earth acts like a huge magnet which has an already established magnetic field , that is, a region of materials similar to magnets.


What is geomagnetism?

The geomagnetism is a part of science that has as its main objective the study of the magnetic field of the earth, their training, their variation and origin. It is also the natural property of bodies to attract iron .

  • Geomagnetism characteristics
  • What Geomagnetism Studies
  • History
  • Geomagnetic Observatories
  • Earth’s magnetic poles
  • Geomagnetic storms

Geomagnetism characteristics

The main characteristics of geomagnetism are the following:

  • It is bipolar so it is made up of the north pole and the south pole .
  • The field is weak mainly on the surface of the planet.
  • In the magnetic field of the earth are formed imaginary lines .
  • It extends from the interior of the earth into space.
  • In this area we find the solar wind .

What Geomagnetism Studies

Geomagnetism is the science that is responsible for studying the origin and properties of the earth’s magnetic field. This field has two different points, and both points are studied by this science.


More than two thousand years ago in the city of Magnesia in Turkey a stone called magnetite or magnet was discovered . And the force of attraction was given the name of magnetism and finally, the object that exerts the magnetic force is called a magnet.

Some time later the compass was discovered in the West as a navigational instrument . The Frenchman Petrus Peregrinus did very relevant research on magnets. In the year 1570, the geologist John Michell created a type of balance that studied magnetic forces.

Geomagnetic Observatories

Geomagnetic observatories are centers or laboratory scientists whose register of work continuously and accurately to the three different components unless the vector field magnetic F . One of the main objectives of the observatories is to provide accurate information on secular variation and those of time scales .

Currently, approximately 180 geomagnetic observatories can be found around the world, and only 15 of them are in Latin America . The mission of the observatories then is the following:

  • They are responsible for continuously registering the magnetic field .
  • They study the different geomagnetic phenomena that can occur on earth and their relationships between the earth and the sun.
  • Study the regular exchange of geomagnetic information for your future use of that information. The objective of this is to use the information in research and applications of a strategic nature.
  • They are responsible for the development and updating of the magnetic charts .
  • Provides information on magnetic declination to the general public for any point of the national territory.
  • Provide advice and services on the characterization of the Magnetic field.

Earth’s magnetic poles

The Earth’s magnetic field resembles the field produced by a simple bar magnet . This field is called a dipole field because it has two poles, located at either end of the magnet, where the strength of the field is greatest. At the midpoint between the poles, the force is half its value at the poles. The magnetic field is often visualized in terms of magnetic field lines , or lines of force, that leave one end of the magnet, called the north pole , traverse space, and re-enter the magnet at the other end, the south pole .

For a long time, the idea was had that, if the magnetic poles were to undergo some kind of inversion , this could cause great and dangerous changes on the planet, it was even thought that this could lead to its destruction. Astronomers, however, have explained this erroneous theory and have even said that the inversion is normal and takes place every certain period of time.

The dreaded pole reversal is linked to the weakening of the earth’s magnetic field, which protects our planet from dangerous charged particles and radiation that reach us from the Sun and from space.

Geomagnetic storms

A geomagnetic storm is a disturbance suffered by the earth’s magnetic field and that can last from hours to days continuously. They have an origin outside and are produced mainly by the increase abruptly particles that are emitted from the eruptions of the sun that manage somehow reach the magnetosphere , causing a series of changes in the magnetic field.

They can occur at any point on earth and their amplitudes can vary depending on the latitude . Its occurrence will always depend on solar activity .

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