Ancient Earth’s Weakened Magnetic Field May Have Driven Mass Extinction

When our planet’s magnetosphere nearly disappeared 565 million years ago, it may have almost taken all life with it

Scientific American
Feb 15 · 5 min read
A diorama depicting a typical seafloor ecosystem during Earth’s Ediacaran period. Credit: Ryan Somma Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Jim Daley

Some 565 million years ago, life on Earth dodged a bullet. The magnetosphere — the magnetic field that surrounds…

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Awesome discoveries. Expert insights. Science that shapes the world.

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