Scientists at UC Berkeley recently performed the first ever measurement of the Earth’s magnetic field at the core.
This is some pretty spiffy stuff for all you science buffs out there. If you’re the type who doesn’t miss an episode of Nova on PBS and receives bunches of email science newsletters, then this is right up your alley. The actual measurement was 25 Gauss. That’s about 50 times the strength of the magnetic field at the surface of the Earth.
From the article at Physorg.com:
“This is the first really good number we’ve had based on observations, not inference,” said author Bruce A. Buffett, professor of earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley. “The result is not controversial, but it does rule out a very weak magnetic field and argues against a very strong field.”
I’ve always been fascinated with Earth science like this. I would spend hours in the school library gobbling up books on geology and stuff like that when I was a kid. Plate tectonics is amazing to me also. The Earth really is a living, breathing thing. It’s definitely unique in our solar system.
A little bit about Buffett:
Buffett is a theoretician who uses observations to improve computer models of the earth’s internal dynamo. Now at work on a second generation model, he admits that a lack of information about conditions in the earth’s interior has been a big hindrance to making accurate models.
Interesting stuff. Give it a read over at Physorg.com.
Learn something. It won’t hurt you none. I promise. 😉
For further reading on this topic, see The Geodynamo by Gary A. Glatzmaier.