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        6-12

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        Part of NOVA
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        See a Reversal

        The rotation of the Earth, combined with its liquid metallic interior, generates a magnetic field not unlike that produced by a simple bar magnet, except on a global scale. This computer simulation from NOVA illustrates a hypothetical moment in time when a complete reversal of Earth's magnetic polarity occurs. This phenomenon has occurred irregularly, but on the average, every 250,000 years since the Earth formed, and scientists say we're overdue for yet another.

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