I have been thinking about Earth’s magnetic field and magnets in general. I read a lot about both. It came down to the fact that I don’t understand any of it.  I don’t know why anything is magnetic. I don’t know why the planets have magnetic fields  and I don’t know where magnetism comes from.

I do know that I found pretty pictures and I drew a couple of pictures for you.

This is magnetite. Also called lodestone. It is magnetized rock. It is all over the earth.

Magnets have two poles. A north pole and a south pole.  These poles are also callled + and -. Poles that are the same push each magnet away from the other one. Poles that are opposite, bring the magnets together.

Iron filings are attracted to magnets.  Put iron filings near a magnet and they will attached right to it.

This is a picture of iron filings on a piece of paper that is placed over a magnet.

The geographic pole is the Earth’s north or south pole. The magnetic poles are the magnetic field which doesn’t stay in one place, but moves around.

Another picture of the earth’s magnetic field. I put it here because it is so pretty.

A simple example of the Earth’s magnetic field. When I first saw it, it looked my hair.

Just to add to the confusion, this is a NASA picture of the Earth’s magnetic field between what is called reversals. There is evidence that the magnetic field has changed over a long period of time. North became south and south became north. Then it changed back. It must have been hard to give directions when this happened.

This is Uranus. (NASA)

Comparison between the size of the Earth and Uranus. I think this is also NASA.

Uranus has its magnetic field close to the center, rather at the ends of the planet like Earth. More like east and west poles than north-south. This is why I showed you the pictures of Uranus.

That’s it for today’s confusing facts.