Lately, I've been 'monitoring', if you will, the earths magnetic field, i've come across some strange looking activity periodically. I exchanged some emails with a guy from NASA today, Joseph Gurman, and he completely lost me with his answers and seemed to outright ignore some questions i asked. I'm no scientist or physicist, so it's useless for me to try to decipher most of the stuff he wrote to me.

Consider this magnetic field simulation. The latest images are from April 1st, 2012.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, and look at the very first image link At the very bottom of the list you will see that there is some strange activity going on with the magnetic field. It seems to fluctuate the further you go up the list. In late December, it was MUCH more dramatic. What, i wonder, could be causing this? Some have said solar activity, CMEs or what have you, but this doesn't make sense to me, solar activity was low during this time of the year apparently.

I've been reading that we are overdue for a pole reversal. I first noticed late December of 2011, the magnetic field of the planet was seemingly being repelled by something. The images were VERY dramatically different than the norm. I can not get these images from this time period easily,i will try. upon doing some googling, i found that there was a lot of seismic activity in late December, even the aurora borealis could be seen here in the states!

Basically, i would like someone to try to explain these weird anomalies in the magnetic field images, and possibly give an explanation to what could make something like this happen if these images are accurate. Also, i would love if someone could read the emails i got from Gurman and give me a 'for dummies' rundown. thanks in advance, oh scientific ones.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi Ebin, and welcome to Physics Stack Exchange! If you'd like someone to review the emails you got, I'd encourage you to post them somewhere online and give a link to them in this post. (You may need to obtain the sender's permission before sharing the content of those emails.) It does us no good to be answering questions in public about an inaccessible private resource. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ for what I know, Earth's magnetic field has been shifting since it's conception 3.7 billion year ago...and it will continue to do so.... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 4:56
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    $\begingroup$ web site is down currently... $\endgroup$
    – IljaBek
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


See if you can find a copy of the BBC Horizon programmer "The Core". This gives a pretty good popular science level description of our current knowledge about the Earth's core and magnetic field. The bottom line is that our models of the core are not good enough for us to know whether the magnetic field is about to flip or not.

The programme mentions experiments to model the magnetic field generation using large balls of liquid sodium. These haven't been terribly successful so far, but have a look at this Nature article that describes the latest experiments to be attempted in this area.

  • $\begingroup$ And please don't confuse this "The Core" with "The Core" movie, known as one of the worst Science of any movie of all time... $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2012 at 13:22

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