Earth's magnetic field and axes, illustration

Earth's magnetic field and axes, illustration

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Credit: MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Earth's magnetic field and axes. Illustration of the Earth, the field lines (white curved lines) of its magnetic field and its axis of rotation (grey rod) and its magnetic axis (red rod). The magnetic axis is tilted by around 11 degrees from the axis of rotation. These axes give rise to the north and south geographic and magnetic poles. The south magnetic pole is located in the northern hemisphere, and is known as the north geomagnetic pole. Similarly, the north magnetic pole is in the southern hemisphere. The Earth's magnetic field is generated by eddies in the planet's liquid core. The Earth's magnetic field extends outwards into space for tens of thousands of kilometres, protecting the planet from high-energy radiation from the Sun.

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