[ mag-nee-tuh-sfeer ]
/ mægˈni təˌsfɪər /

noun Astronomy.

the outer region of the earth's ionosphere, where the earth's magnetic field controls the motion of charged particles, as in the Van Allen belts.Compare magnetopause.
such a region of another planet: Jupiter's magnetosphere.

Origin of magnetosphere

First recorded in 1955–60; magneto- + -sphere
Related formsmag·ne·to·spher·ic [mag-nee-tuh-sfer-ik] /mægˌni təˈsfɛr ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for magnetosphere


/ (mæɡˈniːtəʊˌsfɪə) /


the region surrounding a planet, such as the earth, in which the behaviour of charged particles is controlled by the planet's magnetic field
Derived Formsmagnetospheric (mæɡˌniːtəʊˈsfɛrɪk), adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for magnetosphere



1959, from magneto- + sphere. So called because in it the magnetic field of the earth plays a dominant role in the motion of particles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for magnetosphere


[ măg-nētō-sfîr′ ]

A highly asymmetrical region surrounding the Earth, beginning about 100 km (62 mi) above the surface on the side of the Earth facing the Sun and extending hundreds of thousands of kilometers into space on the opposite side. In this region the Earth's magnetic field exerts a significant influence on any charged particles that encounter it. The magnetosphere deflects most of the charged particles in the solar wind, but also traps and deflects some of these particles toward the Earth's magnetic poles, causing magnetic storms and auroras.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.