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Investigating Magnetic Storms
In this activity, students use an internet archive of data on the Earth's magnetic field to study the frequency of magnetic storms of different intensities during the year, and during the solar sunspot cycle. The archive contains values of the Kp scale, an index of how disturbed the Earth's magnetic field was, on average, over each three-hour period of the day. They will select their data, construct a bar graph with it, and answer questions on what their data reveals.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Computer activity
  • Atmospheric science
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
NASA images generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video and audio material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits and Internet Web pages. This general permission does not include the NASA insignia logo (the blue meatball insignia), the NASA logotype (the red worm logo) and the NASA seal. These images may not be used by persons who are not NASA employees or on products (including Web pages) that are not NASA sponsored.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-008-028
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • B - Physical science:
        • Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Dr Sten Odenwald
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Image for Magnetopause-to-Auroral Global Exploration