How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 1363

Is the earth a huge magnet? If so, how does it do this without being made out of metal?
The earth is a huge magnet and it is made out of metal. The earth's core is mostly iron and nickel, both of which can be magnetic metals. However, the earth's magnetism doesn't appear to come from the metal itself. Current theories attribute the earth's magnetism to movements in and around the core. There are either electric currents associated with this movement or some effects that orient the local magnetization of the metal. I don't think that there is any general consensus on the matter.
         

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