The mysterious processes taking place inside the Earth have always attracted the attention of scientists. From tectonic movements to the circulation of magmatic fluids, there is a veritable symphony of activity going on beneath the surface of our planet. But recently, scientists have discovered something completely new and mysterious – giant magnetic waves emanating from the Earth’s core every seven years.
This exciting discovery was made thanks to data from the European Space Agency’s Swarm orbiting satellites. The three probes, launched in 2013, are designed to study activity inside the Earth. It was in this data that scientists discovered a new type of magnetic wave that travels across the surface of the Earth’s core.
Geophysicists have long hypothesized the existence of similar waves, but they were thought to occur on much longer time scales. However, new research has shown that these waves fluctuate every seven years and propagate westward at a rate of up to 1,500 kilometers per year.
The orbiting Swarm satellites not only confirmed the existence of these mysterious waves, but also helped scientists identify a pattern. Magneto-Coriolis waves, as they have been named, are huge magnetic columns aligned along the Earth’s axis of rotation. They are strongest at the equator.
This discovery is significant in understanding how the Earth’s magnetic field is generated. The magnetic field is an important factor for life on the planet as it protects us from harmful radiation and the atmosphere. However, it is not static and gradually weakens over time.
Studying these magnetic waves can help scientists understand the evolution of our planet and the gradual cooling of its interior. These waves can also provide information about the medium through which they travel, including the Earth’s core itself, which is still difficult to study.
The new discovery opens a new window into the mysteries of the planet that we may never be able to see directly. It also indicates that there may be other magneto-Coriollis waves with other periods of oscillation that we have not yet been able to detect due to a lack of data.