Earth’s magnetic field extends from the Earth’s iron interior out into space, where it meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun, whose charged particles would otherwise strip away the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

After three years of collecting data, the highest resolution map of Earth’s lithospheric magnetic field from space to date has been released. Measurements from ESA’s Swarm satellites with the German CHAMP satellite and a new modeling technique allowed scientists to extract tiny magnetic signals from Earth’s outer layer.

Red represents areas where the lithospheric magnetic field is positive, while blues show areas where it is negative.