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Magnetism and Magnetic Fields

Magnetism is a force field generated by moving electrical charges. An electrical current running through a loop of wire generates a magnetic field. The strength of the field depends on the current and area of the wire loop. Plasma churning through the atmosphere of the Sun drives powerful magnetic fields that sometimes produce cool magnetic storms called sunspots. A magnetic dynamo underneath Earth’s crust generates a magnetic field around Earth.

Featured Images

Gray whale off the California coast

Deadly Sun May 22, 2020

Supercomputer simulations of Earth's magnetic field

Twist and Flip April 8, 2013

Cassini views Saturn's magnetic field

Solar Sculptor March 1, 2013

A January 23, 2012 solar flare

Restless Sun January 30, 2012

Loopy Sun April 23, 2010

Radio Programs

Deadly Sun Deadly consequences of solar storms May 22, 2020

Moon and Jupiter A moon with a lot going for it January 21, 2020

Moon and Saturn Saturn’s unusual magnetic field April 24, 2019

Pointing North Keeping us pointed in the right direction April 5, 2019

South Atlantic Anomaly Zapped over the South Atlantic April 4, 2019

Magnetars A stellar corpse to avoid March 5, 2019

Moon and Aldebaran Blowing a “bubble” around a giant star February 13, 2019

Moon and Saturn A giant bubble around a giant planet October 14, 2018

Steady On Changes in Earth’s magnetic field September 4, 2018

Zapped! A dead star zaps a close companion July 5, 2017

Storm Damage Risks from storms on the Sun June 23, 2017

Quiet Sun A long period of rest for the Sun June 22, 2017

Moon and Jupiter Entering Jupiter’s magnetic 'bubble'... May 14, 2016

Coma Berenices Sparkling tresses of stars March 29, 2016

Moon and Saturn A protective bubble for Saturn March 28, 2016

Stellar Whopper The brightest of the bright March 22, 2016