New type of magnetic wave discovered in Earth’s core

Scientists have detected a completely new type of magnetic wave that surges through Earth‘s outer core every seven years, warping the strength of our planet’s magnetic field in the process.

The waves — dubbed “Magneto-Coriolis” waves because they move along the Earth’s axis of rotation, through the Coriolis effect — creep from East to West in tall columns that can travel up to 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) per year, the researchers wrote in a March 21 paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using a fleet of European Space Agency (ESA) satellites, the team pinpointed the mysterious waves to the outermost layer of Earth’s liquid outer core, right where that layer meets the rocky mantle — roughly 1,800 miles (2,900 km) below the planet’s surface.

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