The Sun Earth Connection
In ancient times, after the discovery of the magnetic properties of certain materials, sailors used to use stones like magnetite to navigate in the same way that we use compasses. And like us, early explorers originally assumed that the direction that their compasses would point--the direction of magnetic north--would always be the same. Their unexpected destinations would occasionally challenge that assumption. By the 17th century, some observers had begun to record changes in the direction of the Earth's magnetic field, changes which Alexander von Humboldt later called magnetic storms because the changes sometimes occurred during lightening storms. If strong enough, these geomagnetic storms--strong disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field--can even disrupt electronic communication and cause blackouts. The Earth's magnetic field is not constant!
The 1600's brought another discovery through the work of Galileo Galilei and his new invention, the telescope. For more detailed information and to continue learning click here http://www.payton.cps.k12.il.us/magnet/info/project_info.htm
Posted by Jay Roberts at 06:03 AM | Permalink