“Earth’s magnetic field has been quiet,” writes Dr Tony Phillips. “Very quiet. The sun is in the pits of what may turn out to be the deepest Solar Minimum in a century. Geomagnetic storms just aren’t happening.”
“That’s why I was so surprised on June 23rd when my instruments picked up a magnetic anomaly,” reports Stuart Green, who operates a research-grade magnetometer in his backyard in Preston UK. “For more than 30 minutes, the local magnetic field oscillated like a sine wave.”
He wasn’t the only one who noticed. In the Lofoten islands of Norway, Rob Stammes detected a similar anomaly on his magnetometer. “It was remarkable,” he says. “Our magnetic field swung back and forth by about 1/3rd of a degree. I also detected ground currents with the same 10 minute period.”
(He detected ground currents! I talk about electrotelluric currents racing through the soil during magnetic reversals in “Not by Fire but by Ice.”)
Earth’s magnetic field was so quiet on June 23rd, the ripple was heard all around the world. INTERMAGNET‘s global network of magnetic observatories picked up wave activity at the same time from Hawaii to China to the Arctic Circle. There’s even a hint of it in Antarctica.
Thanks to Dan Welch, Laurel, Benjamin Napier and Perry Debell
“Another sign of magnetic reversal?” asks Perry.
“Not double checked but I think 23rd was around that 7 scale quake? USGS tonight has some hefty 5+ ones a 6+around asia and all are shallow 10ks.
Follow on from this event wouldn’t surprise me,” says Laurel.