BGS events

From the Earth’s core to outer space: understanding the magnetic field

A special webinar focusing on our our geomagnetism research, including how we measure the magnetic field, everyday applications and mitigating the threats of space weather.

Event on 26/03/2024
BGS Geomagnetism webinar
BGS geomagnetism webinar

The Earth’s magnetic field has been measured in some form or another since the invention of the compass over 1000 years ago. However, the geomagnetic field is not static and changes with time and location. How do we accurately monitor this field? Why is this data so crucial and how does it protect us from the effects of space weather? This special webinar focuses on some of the cutting-edge geomagnetism research currently being undertaken at BGS. 

This webinar covers three areas of our research: monitoring the magnetic field, its applications in our everyday lives and mitigating against the effects of space weather. The webinar concludes with a Q&A session – additional answers to questions which we were not able to cover in the live session can be downloaded from our website.  

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Watch a recording of this webinar online.

Monitoring the magnetic field  

Using high-precision instruments on the Earth and in space, we continuously monitor the magnetic field and the way it changes. The information we gather helps us improve our understanding of how fluid motion in the Earth’s outer core and energetic events on the surface of the Sun can affect our daily lives. 

Applications in our everyday lives 

The magnetic field provides us with a critical tool for navigation that is buried in a surprisingly wide array of technologies. From satellites to mobile phones, measurements of the magnetic field are constantly being used behind the scenes to work out which way we are facing.  

BGS uses measurements from satellites and ground observatories to map Earth’s everchanging magnetic field and predict its future changes so that we can continue to find our way. 

Mitigating against the effects of space weather 

The Earth’s magnetic field plays an important role in protecting us from the effects of space weather. Geomagnetic storms are a natural hazard that can be severely disruptive through their potential to interfere with the operation of, or even cause damage to, ground-based infrastructure such as power grids, pipelines and railways. As the use of near-Earth space increases and our reliance on technology grows, it is becoming ever more important to understand the causes and effects of space weather in order to mitigate against them. 

BGS Strategy 2023 to 2028: Understanding our Earth

Humanity faces major global challenges that require recurrent and serious consideration by decision makers. BGS have developed a programme of science to meet societal needs, with a focus on four strategic priorities:

  • producing maps and models for the 21st century
  • supporting a more secure energy transition
  • improving water security
  • living with geological hazards

Through public engagement, we aim to inspire the wider community and inform societal debate and decisions on geological solutions to global challenges.

For more information please read our full strategy.

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