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back to article ROBOT SWARM positions itself over EARTH ... to probe our magnetic field

The European Space Agency has successfully deployed its trio of mapping satellites, dubbed Swarm, and is ready to start some serious scanning of the Earth's changing magnetic fields. The Swarm payload was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Northern Russia on Friday evening and has now split into its three constituent …

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Happy

Four magnetic poles...

So we'll have to change it to "the Eight Corners of the Earth", then?

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Re: Four magnetic poles...

no each earth day has four simultaneous corners

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Re: Four magnetic poles...

+1 for not being the only person who remembers timecube :D

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Thumb Up

Interesting for both what it says about the solar wind as well as the Earths magnetic field

Thumbs up for that.

Of course what a 4 pole Earth means for the theory of geomagnetic fields is another question.....

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Pint

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laschamp_event

Fast, short, and recent!

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Big Brother

There'll be a relaxing 5% field strength during the transition

Only for 250 years, give or take, nothing to worry about folks, you may have heard all sorts of wild rumours about the solar wind, but let me tell you, It's absolutely fine for you.

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Stop

Bloomin' Pols, coming over here and muckin abhart wiv our magnetisms!

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"The mission is going to help scientists understand the strange phenomenon of magnetic-pole shifts that the Earth is currently undergoing."

... or the not so strange and quite well theorised magnetic fied fluctuations that the Earth is constantly undergoing ...

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Swarm........

Since when is three a swarm.............its a nuisance at best :D

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Joke

"the satellites are performing beyond expectation"

What? They had low expectations? Then why launch the blooming things? If the satellites did not meet expectations, then there seems to be a quality control problem.

But seriously, well done ESA!

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Re: "the satellites are performing beyond expectation"

"What? They had low expectations?"

Well, there were those launches that blew up...

Still, the Russians were shooting rockets into space while the Americans were using rockets with a reverse gear for quite a bit. ;)

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Unhappy

Magnetic variation twice over.

Four poles is going to make the compass navigation part of the pilots licence a lot more difficult.

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Re: Magnetic variation twice over.

I thought it'd make things easier.

Now you'll not only have a North and South pole, but East and West ones as well.;)

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Will play havoc

With the London Taxi drivers,

"I don't go closer-to-the-equator side of the Thames this time of night"

Also northerners will become southerners, oh the beautiful irony, to see northerners wearing coats...

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one small step for a man...

One giant LEOP for robokind...

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Polar explorers.

I'd best get packing if I want to be remembered as leading the first expedition to the West Pole.

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What about auroras?

Does this mean that there'd be four sets of 'northern lights' instead of two?

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