# What is the Earth's magnetic field in space?

I have looked around a bit, but haven't found a simple answer. At an altitude between 100-1000 km,
Is the magnetic field B still around $\sim 10^{-5}\ T$? Is there a simple equation that would provide an quick order of magnitude estimation?

• You could (at a first approximation) consider the Earth's magnetic field as a dipole at the centre of the earth, and proceed with your estimations from there. But don't expect things to be spectacularly accurate. Apr 27, 2013 at 2:52
• You could try this. Can't vouch for its accuracy but it looks pretty official. Apr 27, 2013 at 3:14
• Thanks for the link. It doesn't matter if it's entirely accurate, it certainly answers the order of magnitude question. It remains the same. Apr 27, 2013 at 4:45

For future reference, if you even have only the most basic understanding of the physics behind it, you can guess that the fastest the mag field would drop off would be order $1\over r^2$ (which is a safe assumption usually. For Earth's case, it turns out to be $1\over r^3$). And you can guess that it originates from the center of Earth. Since we're sitting pretty at ~6371km, adding another 100-1000 km would not even decrease it by half, let alone an order of magnitude.
• @Jim - But the field drops off as $r^{-3}$, which is faster than $r^{-2}$... Or are you just suggesting a typical approach for zeroth order effects? Jul 17, 2016 at 14:59
At $0^o$ N and $0^o$ W and 1000km elevation the field is about 17,457.1 nT, so yes it is still around $\sim 10^{-5}\ T$