Our planet's magnetic field reverses about once every 200,000 years on average. However, the time between reversals is highly variable. The last time
Earth's magnetic field flipped was 780,000 years ago, according to the geologic record of Earth's polarity.
True North becomes true South on a compass and true South becomes true North.
Here is an illustration of the Earth's magnetic feild.
Now i think that for a long time i have not really thought about the real dynamics of how the poles would 'switch' or 'flip'. I think a person
could get through a conversation about the poles switching without actually coming to the conclusion there might be two scenarios for it to happen.
In the first scenario the poles would simply spin themselves. The magnetic north pole would move across the surface of the Earth, and the South
moving with it on the opposite side, until the magnetic North reached the magnetic South's last stationary point. The magnetic South pole point
would reach the old point of the magnetic North pole and they would have switched.
However this would be difficult to acheive if you realize that magnetic lines and polarities are created by the body's they inhabbit. That is to say
that our magnetic matrix on Earth is a result of the shape and elements residing on and in the Earth. If you were to simply 'move the magnetic
lines' you would be rugging on the material elements of the Earth that create them.
I suppose it could be possible that our 'entire' magnetic feild around our planet 'could' be created entirely by elements residing in our core of
our planet, and that possibly these elements sit surounded by the soft malleable magma that could enable the whole core to physically spin and shift
the magnetic poles completely. However, don't you think there would be too much resisting magnetic pressures and forces in our thick crusts alone to
make this not the best theory?
How about if we looked at it another way? Take a look at this video titled 'how to turn a sphere inside out'
I beleive the poles could switch in a similiar manner.
From 0:23 to 0:42 almost sounds like magnetic forces. They can stretch over distances ( based on their magnetic strength ) .. they can bend ( see
Earth magnetic sphere diagram to see how the lines bend around us ) .. and the 'material' of the sphere in the video cannot be 'torn' or bent
sharply, similiarly to the idea that if the magnetic poles are to switch, they have to do so in a way that maintains the integrity of the magnetic
feild as a whole. They cannot just 'undue' are various points and recollect and attatch again..
Look at the time mark 1:23 and onward into the video. The animation even resembles having lines and paths like the magnetic feilds are depicted
around earth! At pretty much exactly the 1:26 time mark the bottom of the sphere is lifted up and the top is pushed down, however there is no fold or
crease to 'destroy' the animated sphere because of how the outside perimeters around it have been contorted to maintain integrity..
Here is a more lengthy video if you want to get more into that.
So anyways, can you see how it could be envisioned here?
Take the method from the video for turning the sphere inside out properly and look at it as the magnetic feild around the Earth 'flipping' itself
without actually 'spinning' around BUT never breaking a magnetic line as it does so...
the lady in the insideout sphere video was right...
that wasn't easy to follow and if what I did follow I followed even remotely closely, she pinched AND creased the thing a lot more than he did.
and why cant you pinch or crease it? if god creases the earths magnetic field, it doesn't break - it just goes wonky and fixes itself... like the
suns does. tighter tighter tighter whoah too tight flip.
I'm glad I just wont fall off the planet when the poles shift, because it's nice here... on the ground...
We can actually view a simplified model of this happening in a lab. They have built scale model, round, Dynamos.
On those simplified depictions of Earth, the actual switch occurred rather suddenly, but was preceded and followed by a period of chaotic behavior in
the field. Things like over all weakening (check) and areas of reversal in the local field (check) were seen. It was rather like a rubber band
snapping (much like the description of the release of a solar burst) when the field finally reversed and the ultimate reversal came rather quickly.
That's not to say that we KNOW how it will happen on a planetary scale, but we have some clues as to what's going to occur at least.
This isn't one of the sources I originally read about the process, but it covers the same
physics that were used.
well, i think the 'no creasing or folds' could apply to the magnetic feild because if you think about what magnetic feilds are, they are sort of just
like electrical circuits, if you cut off one polarity at one end, for instance the end that is receiving the electromagnetic push, then the whole
system would just turn into a monopolar systerm, it would just be having a magnetic push or pull in one direction
i guess my logic could be looked at like this: imagine that the lines representing the magnetic feild wrapping from pole to pole around the earth were
peices of string. now, in order to flip the poles the ends of the strings have to remain tied together and not break ( but since magnetic feilds are
not really physical things, they can pass through one another through the process, so long as they don't interrupt the integrity of the feild's
circuit ), the way that this could happen is that when polarity 'switches' the true 'North' would basically fall into itself until it fell completely
into the location that true 'South' used to be, meanwhile true 'South' completes the same process, arriving where true 'North' was once located. The
whole time this is happening there are changes in the feild surrounding the Earth just as illustrated in the sphere inside out video, based on the
general idea that the magnetic feild has to maintain it's integrity and it's existence while it 'switches' itself.
It's all pretty abstract, but maybe that could clarify it a little more from the perspective i'm coming from..
edit on 12/3/2010 by
indigothefish because: (no reason given)
edit on 12/3/2010 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)
Changing frequency of geomagnetic reversals over time
The rate of reversals in the Earth's magnetic field has varied widely over time. 72 million years ago (Ma), the field reversed 5 times in a million
years. In a 4-million-year period centered on 54 Ma, there were 10 reversals; at around 42 Ma, 17 reversals took place in the span of 3 million years.
In a period of 3 million years centering on 24 Ma, 13 reversals occurred. No fewer than 51 reversals occurred in a 12-million-year period, centering
on 15 million years ago. These eras of frequent reversals have been counterbalanced by a few "superchrons" – long periods when no reversals took
It had generally been assumed that the frequency of geomagnetic reversals is random; in 2006, a team of physicists at the University of Calabria found
that the reversals conform to a Lévy distribution, which describes stochastic processes with long-ranging correlations between events in
yeah, well i mean i agree for the most part, but really this thread isn't another 'pole reversal' doomsday thread, it's just a hypothesis i have
looking into the scientific structure of how exactly the pole reversal happens to the planet
I'm canadian, and i dont watch much TV anymore due to Work, VideoGames, and Friends. When i'm upstairs watching TV with my Mothers and Father i've
noticed there are starting to talk about "Using chemicals dispursted in the air to effect cllimets chem trails" and now they're are talking about
on CBC, how the earth has a Megnetic Feild that effects ALL of us without us even knowing about. New science has shown the megnetic poles has tottaly
swaped 180degrees before, and it happens about every 250,000 years and the last one happened 750,000 years ago, fun eh?, right before my eyes,
everything i've been telling my parents that i've been reading about is now being taught and shown on tv.
So... Middle Earth here we come! (I don't like that creepy Gollum creature, tho!)
Seriously though, this would play out much worse than the 1st scenario (in my opinion.)
What happens to the core, the magma, the crust? (Not to mention the trees, the bees, and ME?!)
Also, does the 2nd scenario apply to a sphere (with its 'baby sphere' in tow) rotating on its axis while revolving around a huge hunka-burnin-luv...
along with its sibling spheres?
Not knocking your theory, my friend. I thrive on thinking outside of the box sphere.
In fact it made me think of things like Atlantis perhaps being upside down inside the Earth, instead of sunken.
Maybe survivors puzzled over what the heck happened, studied it for eons, and after the light bulb went off, came up with a way to clue in the
descendants to come. I can hear it now...
"Dangit... let's built some pyramids aligned to Orion's Belt to warn the masses of the next inside-out Earth event, 'cause they'll be ten times
smarter than us and take one look and know what we're saying!" lol (Else, the Pyramids were upside-down inside the Earth, before the last
inside-out event, which had happened earlier and hence the whole Mayan 5th Earth cycle on its way. Hmmm...)
Probably you are now so sorry you even brought this up!
Originally posted by whoshotJR
don't think that we will have any huge issues when it happens because it sounds like it doesn't happen in the blink of an eye. It will probably
have some effects.
On a geological time scale, 1000 years is a 'blink of the eye' and the magnetic field could ebb, flow & wander about for a long time before it
stabilised again with a reversed polarity.
If it happens in our lifetime there'll be some effects but it doesn't mean we'll be suddenly compelled to stand on our heads or electric motors
running backwards. With GPS systems taking over in navigation our technology is making us less dependant on the magnetic field orientation all the
time and electric motors have no reliance on the earth's magnetic field. The largest concern is that if the field collapsed to a very low or zero
strength for a long time (on a human lifetime scale), we'd be exposed to more radiation from extraterrestrial sources and suffer health-wise with a
depleted magnetic shield around the planet.
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