Scientists take into consideration the possibility that Earth had multiple magnetic poles.
The current magnetic pole is generated by the molten iron inside the Earth’s core. The field emanates into space, acting as a shield and protecting the planet against solar winds.
The Earth protector is orientated on an axis that goes from the North Pole to the South Pole, in approximation.
A new study investigates the possibility of multiple magnetic poles that might have occurred 1 billion years ago.
“What I found was a surprising amount of variability. These new models do not support the assumption of a stable dipole field at all times, contrary to what we’d previously believed,” said scientist Peter Driscoll, author of the study.
Creating a model of what happened millions of years ago is sustained by indicators found inside the Earth.
The first evidence of magnetic field was when humans noticed the position of magnetic minerals. The Chinese were the first ones to find the existence the magnetic materials, and they afterward created the first compasses.
William Gilbert was the first person to theorize the existence of a magnetic field along the north-south axis.
However, 600 million of years ago, the Earth may not have had a dipole field. Scientists tracked the evolution of Earth’s inner core and created a development map of our planet’s thermal history.
The analysis of this historic evolutionary map showed that at one point, Earth’s molten core began to harden which produced magnetic abnormalities. Therefore, the magnetic field might have also changed.
During these turbulent times, the modifications inside the Earth’s molten core might have created multiple magnetic fields surrounding our planet, each of them having lower intensities than the ones we are now accustomed to.
Scientists approximated that the event happened between 500 million and 1 billion years ago, during the Neoproterozoic Era. The period coincides with high fluctuations in magnetic materials.
The model proposed by scientists sustains the idea that the multiple magnetic poles returned to the dipole structure around 650 million years ago.
Despite the fact that the study presents a hypothetical scenario of what the world would have appeared to be millions of years ago, and there is not enough evidence to prove the theory correct, the new model can shed new light on how Earth was formed and how the magnetic field functions nowadays.
Image Source: Texample