Earth's magnetosphere, illustration

Earth's magnetosphere, illustration

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Credit: ESA/ATG medialab/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Earth's magnetosphere. Computer illustration showing the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's magnetic field. The solar wind is made up of charged particles emitted by the Sun. The Earth's magnetic field deflects these particles, forming a wake-like pattern of field lines that is compressed on the sunward side and trails over a million kilometres away from the Sun on the other side of the Earth. If the magnetic field was not present, the solar wind would damage life on Earth.

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