Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences


Our group conducts basic and applied research in the field of Earth magnetism

Satellite orbiting earth
Satellite orbiting earth


Mailing address
National Centers for Environmental Information
NOAA, Mail Code E/NE42
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305



The geomagnetic field protects the Earth's atmosphere against charged particles from the solar wind. Rapid and long-term changes in the field are monitored by low-orbiting satellites and a global network of about 200 magnetic observatories. Field models, computed from these measurements, provide the direction and strength of the magnetic field at any desired location. Magnetometers (or a simple compass) can then be used to compute pointing directions, complementing the location information provided by the global positioning system (GPS).