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Does the earth have a net positive/negative electrical charge?

If not, why not? If we GAVE the earth a net charge, bringing massive amounts of electrons from another planet for instance, what would this mean? would anything happen/change in/on the earth? Would the earth interact differently with the solar system?

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The earth gets hit continuously by a stream of charged particles from the sun, called the solar wind.

    Earth itself is largely protected from the solar wind by its magnetic field, which deflects most of the charged particles, however some of the charged particles are trapped in the Van Allen radiation belt. A smaller number of particles from the solar wind manage to travel, as though on an electromagnetic energy transmission line, to the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere in the auroral zones. The only time the solar wind is observable on the Earth is when it is strong enough to produce phenomena such as the aurora and geomagnetic storms. Bright auroras strongly heat the ionosphere, causing its plasma to expand into the magnetosphere, increasing the size of the plasma geosphere, and causing escape of atmospheric matter into the solar wind. Geomagnetic storms result when the pressure of plasmas contained inside the magnetosphere is sufficiently large to inflate and thereby distort the geomagnetic field.

    The Earth's Moon has no atmosphere or intrinsic magnetic field, and consequently its surface is bombarded with the full solar wind.

    The planet Earth has a natural direct current (DC) electric field or potential gradient from the ground upwards to the ionosphere. The static fair-weather electric field in the atmosphere is ~150 V/m near Earth surface, but it drops exponentially with height to under 1 V/m at 30km altitude, as conductivity of the atmosphere increases.

    The Earth is negatively charged, carrying 500, 000 C of electric charge, and is at 300, 000 V of voltage difference from the positively charged ionosphere. There is a constant flow of electricity, at around 1350 A, and resistance of the Earth atmosphere is around 220 Ohms. This gives a power output of around 400 MW, which is ultimately regenerated by the power of the Sun that affects ionosphere, as well as troposphere, causing thunderstorms. The electrical energy stored in atmosphere is around 150 GJ.

    The Earth-ionosphere system acts as a giant capacitor, of capacity 1.8 Farads.

    The earth surface carries around -1 nC of electric charge per square meter of surface.

    The global atmospheric electrical circuit produces the Earth's natural DC electric field. The natural field can be visualized as a spherical capacitor system: the outer shell is formed by a conductive layer of positive charge, the electrosphere, balanced by a layer of negative charge distributed over the surface of the Earth. The electric field close to the ground is maintained by continual transfer of charge to the ground through global thunderstorm activity. The electrosphere is at elevations above the clouds forming a continuous and distinct element.


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  • dery
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Negative Electrical Charge

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  • 4 years ago

    By Electrical charge I assume you mean Magnetic field? It's impossible for the earth to lose its magnetic field. Although every few thousand years it's poles swap, North becomes south & south becomes north. But Hypothetically if it lost its charge, it would fall out of orbit and disintegrate.

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  • 5 years ago

    If earth's inner core is (+),and the surface of the earth is (-) then if a matter on the surface of the earth is(-),then that the object will not be attracted by the what will happen??????????

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