Magnetic Fields - lines are imaginary lines used to...

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Magnetic Fields Some planets have a magnetic field that acts like there is a giant bar magnet in the center of a planet (there isn't really a giant bar magnet, though). The magnetic field can be aligned differently than the rotational axis. For example, the Earth's magnetic field is tilted by about 18° with respect to our rotation axis, so compasses point to a magnetic pole that is in northern Canada. A planet's magnetic field forms a shield protecting the planet's surface from energetic, charged particles coming from the Sun and other places. The Sun is constantly sending out charged particles, called the solar wind , into the solar system. When solar wind particles run into a magnetic field, they are deflected and spiral around the magnetic field lines. Magnetic ``field
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Unformatted text preview: lines'' are imaginary lines used to describe the direction charged or magnetic particles will move when responding to a magnetic field. In the same way, gravity ``field lines'' point to the center of an object producing the gravity. You can see the direction of an ordinary household magnet's field lines by sprinkling tiny iron filings around a magnetic---they will tend to bunch up along particular magnetic field lines. Most of the solar wind gets deflected around the planet but a few particles manage to leak into the magnetic field and become trapped in the planet's magnetic field to created radiation belts or "charged particle belts"....
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