Home The Changing Polarity of Earth's Magnetic Field

Studies of the mid-oceanic ridges indicate that the earth's magnetic field switches polarity on a regular cyclic basis.

Plenty of work order software and mapping equipment can be used in geological studies.

What is now called the "north" magnetic field is aligned with the north pole of the earth. But when the earth flips its magnetic polarity this "north" field is aligned with the earth's south pole.

Graphic of earth's magnetic polarity flipping

When the earth's polarity flips, the flip does not happen "overnight". The transition takes place over tens of thousands of years. However, this transition phase is brief when compared to the interval between polarity reversals. The interval between flips in polarity lasts for millions of years.

Graphic of time scale of earth's magnetic polarity flipping

Slowing of Earth's Magnetic Field Polarity Reversals

There is an even longer cycle with respect to changes in the earth's polarity. The frequency in which the flips in polarity take place change over an even longer period. Over hundreds of millions of years, the interval between polarity reversals changes in frequency. The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts that the intervals between polarity flips are getting longer.


Flipping Polarity Cycle doesn't match Galactic Orbit

At first glance, the value for the time it takes earth to flip its magnetic field -- millions of years -- does not match the predicted value of time it takes for earth to orbit the Milky Way -- 200 million years. Thus, the "cause" of the reversals is not from the earth's change in direction during its Galactic Orbit. However, our solar system goes through yet another cyclic variation in gravity.

The Solar Systems "Bobbing" Motion

As the solar system orbits in the Milky Way, it has a cycle where it "bobs" up and down.

This is an "edge-on" view of the Milky Way. As the solar system goes around the Galaxy, it has been found that the earth moves up and down like a horse on a merry-go-round. Following traditional kinematics, earth would experience the greatest induced gravitational forces in this cycle when it changes direction because the acceleration would be greatest at this point.

This bobbing up and down creates acceleration and deceleration in a cyclic manner, similar to the classic explanation of a pendulum.

Graphic of pendulum swinging with acceleration and deceleration

As the earth moves "up" in this bobbing motion, the earth's magnetic field would be oriented one way -- "north" or "south". As the earth moves "down" in this bobbing motion, the earth's magnetic field would be oriented the opposite way -- "north" or "south".

Graphic of field flipping in bobbing motion with time line: long portion of cycle where it is going up or down (millions of years), relatively brief portion where it changes direction (thousands of years).

Cycle could be caused by a Binary Star Orbit

There is another possibility that could cause this same type of cycle but without the bobbing up and down. As the solar system orbits the Galaxy, it could have a smaller orbit with a group of stars.

Graphic of sun and another star spinning around a common center as they orbit the galaxy

Either way, either a circular orbit, or a bobbing up and down motion, would account for the short-term cycle of the earth flipping its magnetic field.