Q:

Why is Earth like a big magnet?

A:

The Earth has a huge magnetic field around it, which allows it to act like a big magnet. The Earth's magnetic field extends far into space and is known as the magnetosphere.

Know More

Full Answer

According to Nasa, the Earth's magnetic field is as a result of the Earth's rotating molten nickel-iron core. Like a magnet, the Earth has a north pole and a south pole. However, the position of these switches every 250,000 years. Even though it may not be immediately apparent, the Earth's magnetic field affects daily life in various ways. Interference from the magnetic field may cause disturbances in radio signals. It is also what powers compasses. Some birds and animals use the Earth's magnetic field as migratory guides.

The magnetosphere is vital to life. It helps to act as a shield to the solar winds; deflecting over 98 percent of the flares, cosmic particles and radiation from the Sun. This is important because if the magnetosphere was suddenly switched of, it would leave the Earth exposed to cosmic rays, which would likely lead to mutations among other things. Without the magnetosphere, the Earth would be increased danger of losing its atmosphere, which is what many scientists believe happened to the planet Mars.

Learn more in Planets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big is the Earth?

    A:

    The Earth has a radius of 3,959 miles, a diameter of 7,926 miles and a circumference of 24,902 miles. Earth has a mass of 6.6 sextillion tons and a total surface area of 197 million square miles. It is the fifth largest planet in the solar system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is Earth important?

    A:

    As the only known planet that is habitable for human beings, the Earth’s importance is self-evident. Every living organism known to science obtains all of its resources from Earth, and has very few other options available. Without the Earth, humans would be doomed to extinction, unless they were able to adapt to another planet's conditions before the Earth disappeared.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How hot is the Earth?

    A:

    The hottest place on Earth is in its molten core, where temperatures reach approximately 10,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface temperatures on the planet vary widely, but according to NASA, the average surface temperature of the Earth is about 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the size of Earth?

    A:

    The Earth has a mean radius of 3,959 miles. Its equatorial diameter is just over twice that, at 7,926 miles. This figure is somewhat higher than double the mean radius, owing to the Earth's equatorial bulge, which pushes out the crust at low latitudes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore