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51.8 MB (2.6 MB compressed)
5294 x 3419 pixels
44.7 x 29.0 cm ⏐ 17.6 x 11.4 in (300dpi)
GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Magnetic field reversal. Artwork illustrating reversal of the Earth's magnetic field. At left, the magnetic field lines radiate from the south magnetic pole, and converge on the north magnetic pole, as seen by the red arrows. At right, the direction of polarity has changed so north is now at the bottom, and south at the top. This reversal would cause compasses to point to the south pole instead of the north. Palaeomagnetic studies of rocks have shown that the Earth's magnetic field has changed periodically during the Earth's history. Rock on the ocean floor has stripes of alternating polarity depending on the prevailing field direction at the time of its formation.
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