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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Sun-Earth Day 2010: Magnetic Storms.

Sun-Earth Day 2010: Magnetic Storms

IMAGE GALLERY

Earth's magnetic field acts as a shield against the bombardment of particles continuously streaming from the sun. Because the solar particles (ions and electrons) are electrically charged, they feel magnetic forces and most are deflected by our planet's magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field, which shields our planet from severe space weather, often develops two holes when the solar wind's magnetic field points North that allow the largest leaks of solar particles.
Earth's Magnetic Field

Earth's magnetic field acts as a shield against the bombardment of particles continuously streaming from the sun. Because the solar particles (ions and electrons) are electrically charged, they feel magnetic forces and most are deflected by our planet's magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field, which shields our planet from severe space weather, often develops two holes when the solar wind's magnetic field points North that allow the largest leaks of solar particles. Read more at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/news/themis_leaky_shield.html
Credit: NASA CI Lab/Walt Feimer

NASA Fact

Depending on your rate and direction of motion, a pure magnetic field can be turned into an electric field and vice versa.