Almost certainly not. Direct historical measurements of the intensity of the geomagnetic field have been possible ever since Gauss invented the magnetometer in the 1830's. Since then the average intensity of the field at the Earth's surface has decreased...
Nothing. That answer might surprise you, but the fact that the field occasionally reverses is simply a property of the continuous, on-going behavior of the Earth's dynamo. There is no "cause" per se. With respect to the physics of the process itself,...
Most material is non-magnetic, being composed of molecules made of atoms, each of which have electrons orbiting nuclear protons, where the motion of one electron, essentially a tiny electric current, generates a magnetic field that is cancelled by the...
At most places on the Earth's surface, the compass doesn't point exactly toward geographic north. The deviation of the compass from true north is an angle called "declination." It is a quantity that has been a nuisance to navigators for centuries,...
Aurorae is the plural of the word "aurora," which is a luminous glow of the upper atmosphere caused by energetic particles descending from the Earth's magnetosphere or coming directly from the Sun.  These energetic particles are mostly electrons, but...
Space weather is the state of the environment in space near the Earth, including the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field, the outer part of the Earth's magnetic field called the magnetosphere, and the electrically conducting part of the Earth's...
Not directly. High-altitude pilots and astronauts can experience enhanced levels of radiation during magnetic storms, but the hazard is due to the radiation, not the magnetic field itself. Direct effects on human health from the magnetic field at the...
This is a question more about health than geophysics; nonetheless, it is a question we are often asked. The USGS is an earth science research agency, not a health agency, so we would refer you to the following authoritative articles and Web sites:Bennett...
A magnetic storm is a period of rapid magnetic field variation. Briefly, magnetic storms have two basic causes:First of all, the Sun is always emitting a wind of charged particles that flows outward into space away from the Sun itself. Occasionally the...
The infrastructure and activities of our modern technologically-based society can be adversely affected by rapid magnetic-field variations generated by electric currents in the near-Earth space environment, particularly in the ionosphere and...