Huge Collision Might Have Led to the Formation of the Earth’s Magnetic Field

Huge Collision Might Have Led to the Formation of the Earth’s Magnetic Field

The Universe has many ways of showing us that even apparently destructive events can have very positive outcomes. For instance, the Sagittarius A supermassive black hole has the purpose of establishing the shape and controlling the evolution of our Milky Way galaxy. Otherwise, we all know that black holes are generally destructive, as nothing can possibly escape their grip if they come too close.

But the fascinating ways the Universe creates with the help of destruction can also be explained at a much lower scale. The magnetic field of the Earth is one crucial component that protects all life from deadly cosmic radiation. The atmosphere rich in oxygen wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the magnetic field of our planet. In other words, you wouldn’t be reading this article it if the Earth didn’t have a magnetic field.

The million-dollar question arises: how could such a majestic structure as the magnetic field have formed? Scientists believe that they now have an answer.

Massive impact in Earth’s early history with another planet might be to blame reveals a new theory of astronomers having David Hughes as co-author, who’s also an applied mathematician at the University of Leeds. They believe that an impact between Earth and another planet billions of years ago had some level of contribution to the formation of the magnetic field of our planet. The idea of such a collision isn’t new, however, as that’s how astronomers believe that the Moon was formed.

In their new research published in PNAS, the scientists wrote:

It is universally accepted that the Earth’s magnetic field is maintained by a dynamo operating in the outer liquid core. However, because of the rapid rotation of the Earth, this dynamo has the peculiar property that it can maintain a strong field but cannot amplify a weak one. Therefore, the Earth must have been magnetized at a very early epoch, either preimpact or as a result of the impact itself.

The Moon is thought to be 4.53 billion years old.


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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