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Reversals, Part 3

Two lava flows and their magnetic directions

Categories
Blog Orientation

Reversals, Part 2

I’m finally getting back to the blog after about a week of frantic magnetometry (we discovered a bug in our magnetometer software, because of which we had to measure lots of stuff all over again!) and report-writing. Here is another in my reverse-color series on magnetic reversals.

Why do we call them magnetic reversals? Because the way some lavas are magnetized, Earth's magnetic NORTH pole would have had to be where the SOUTH pole currently is.

Categories
Blog Orientation

Basics of Magnetism 4: Reversals Part 1

Earth has a magnetic field, which is what keeps your compass lined up with the North Pole [1]. The Earth’s outer core generates that┬ámagnetic field. You may have heard before that Earth’s magnetic field has, in the past, switched its North and South Poles. This is true, and kind of amazing and mysterious, but useful at the same time. This is the first in a series of picture-posts – not quite comics –┬áthat discusses magnetic reversals, and why and how we use them. I owe Maxwell Brown for this one.

A picture of a volcano with a Roman temple on top, and a story about building stones and magnetism

 


[1] Previous relevant posts are under the paleomagnetism tag.