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magnetic field of the Earth

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The magnetic field (see magnetism) that surrounds and permeates the Earth. It is the presence of this field that causes compass needles to line up in a north-south direction. The origin of the Earth's magnetic field is poorly understood at the present time.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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