AST101Lab10 - Astronomy 101 Online Lab - Magnetic Storm...

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Astronomy 101 Online Lab - Magnetic Storm Introduction : The magnetic field of the Earth is much more useful than as a method for finding the cardinal directions. In fact, if it weren't for the magnetic field of the Earth, life as we know it would not be able to survive. In this lab, you'll be introduced to a model which attempts to explain the origin of the Earth's magnetic field, to discuss what the magnetic field does to protect us, and what changes are occurring in the magnetic field that will have important consequences for future generations. Procedure : Ideally, it would be great if you could get your hands on a copy of the Nova special, entitled "Magnetic Storm". However, for the purposes of this lab, we can suffice by reading through the transcript of the video. Go to the following website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3016_magnetic.html Read through the transcript and answer the questions below. Video Transcript Questions : 1) What are conditions like at the center of the Earth? Where on the surface of the Earth can you find conditions similar to those at the center of the Earth? Huge amounts of molten iron running like an enormous river through the Earths core. An example of this can be found at erupting volcanoes all over the world. 2) How is the strength of the magnetic field changing? How long do scientists expect this trend to continue? The strength of the magnetic field is decreasing at an alarming rate which is expected to continue until the next pole reversal, which realistically could come within thousand years if not much sooner.
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AST101Lab10 - Astronomy 101 Online Lab - Magnetic Storm...

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