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We are now in the years of maximum solar activity. Spectacular outbursts of particles and fields will bombard the Earth and continue at high levels for the first few years of the millennium. In this period of striking auroras and satellite-damaging magnetic storms, it is natural to wonder about the magnetic fields that guide solar particles to create such astonishing displays. This book takes the reader on a tour through the Earth's magnetic fields with a minimum of jargon and mathematical detail. Journey with the author from historical observations of the magnetic field and magnetic applications in the modern world through the Earth's principle magnetic field to understand why there are so many magnetic pole locations. The everyday main field and quiet-time variations that are superimposed on the main field together form a baseline from which we measure the magnificent but potentially damaging magnetic storms. Learn how these spectacular field disturbances start from blasts of particles ejected from our Sun.
San Diego: Harcourt-Academic Press (Elsevier Science). Price £16.95 (paperback).
It affects navigation, communication, and even the growth of crystals. As we observe and experience an 11-year solar maximum, we may witness spectacular satellite-destroying solar storms as they interact with our magnetic field.