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Earth's Orientation - South Pole

A cache by K!nder Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 07/17/2010
Difficulty:
5 out of 5
Terrain:
5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:


Twin Cache of Earth's Orientation - North Pole


Earth Orientation




Earth's magnetic field

Earth's magnetic field is approximately a magnetic dipole, with the magnetic field S pole near the Earth's geographic north pole and the other magnetic field N pole near the Earth's geographic south pole. This makes the compass usable for navigation. The cause of the field can be explained by dynamo theory. Magnetic field extends infinitely, though it weakens with distance from its source. The Earth's magnetic field, also called the geomagnetic field, which effectively extends several tens of thousands of kilometres into space, forms the Earth's magnetosphere. A paleomagnetic study of Australian red dacite and pillow basalt has estimated the magnetic field to be at least 3.5 billion years old

South Pole

The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole. Situated on the continent of Antarctica, it is the site of the United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which was established in 1956 and has been permanently staffed since that year. The Geographic South Pole should not be confused with the South Magnetic Pole.

Magnetic Field Generator

The Earth's magnetic field is generated within its molten iron core through a combination of thermal movement, the Earth's daily rotation, and electrical forces within the core. These elements form a dynamo that sustains a magnetic field that is similar to that of a bar magnet slightly inclined to a line that joins the North and South Geographic Poles. A compass placed in this magnetic field thus does not point due north, declination measures the angle between the compass reading at any point on the Earth's surface and true north (measured in degrees). The geomagnetic reference model is the basis for establishing the declination and its variation across the surface of the globe.

Influence of the Sun

Electrical particles streaming from the sun cause the "solar wind" which warps Earth's geomagnetic field lines, flattening them on the sun-ward side and stretching them out on the downstream side. The influence of this distortion of the geomagnetic field is quite small near Earth's surface (except during solar eruptions associated with sunspots) and becomes larger with increasing distance from Earth.

Importance

The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole. Situated on the continent of Antarctica, it is the site of the United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which was established in 1956 and has been permanently staffed since that year. The Geographic South Pole should not be confused with the South Magnetic Pole.Earth is largely protected from the solar wind, a stream of energetic charged particles emanating from the Sun, by its magnetic field, which deflects most of the charged particles. Some of the charged particles from the solar wind are trapped in the Van Allen radiation belt. A smaller number of particles from the solar wind manage to travel, as though on an electromagnetic energy transmission line, to the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere in the auroral zones. The only time the solar wind is observable on the Earth is when it is strong enough to produce phenomena such as the aurora and geomagnetic storms. Bright auroras strongly heat the ionosphere, causing its plasma to expand into the magnetosphere, increasing the size of the plasma geosphere, and causing escape of atmospheric matter into the solar wind. Geomagnetic storms result when the pressure of plasmas contained inside the magnetosphere is sufficiently large to inflate and thereby distort the geomagnetic field. The solar wind is responsible for the overall shape of Earth's magnetosphere, and fluctuations in its speed, density, direction, and entrained magnetic field strongly affect Earth's local space environment. For example, the levels of ionizing radiation and radio interference can vary by factors of hundreds to thousands; and the shape and location of the magnetopause and bow shock wave upstream of it can change by several Earth radii, exposing geosynchronous satellites to the direct solar wind. These phenomena are collectively called space weather. The mechanism of atmospheric stripping is caused by gas being caught in bubbles of magnetic field, which are ripped off by solar winds. Variations in the magnetic field strength have been correlated to rainfall variation within the tropics.


The Earthcache


To claim this Earthcache you must go near the published coordenates and send to me the answers for the following questions after visiting the published coordinates:


1. What happens to your compass?
2. What is written in the mark?
3. Why does the Magnetic South Pole change from time to time?

You may take a picture of you and the South Pole Marker, be creative After you receive my mail validating your answers you may put it in your log.





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