When the magnetic poles of the earth get reversed, does the earth keep on revolving in the same direction or does it start revolving in the opposite direction?

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    $\begingroup$ Why would it reverse? How could it reverse and conserve angular momentum? $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft I agree with closure but perhaps you could be a bit more tolerant and respectful of users with less knowledge of physics. Calling someone's question "silly" is definitely not nice, and borders on abuse. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft No questions are silly. You have no idea who is asking this (and their background). Upvote and vote to reopen. $\endgroup$
    – user1569
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ @JanDoggen if Sawhney's photo is to be believed, he's in his 50s or older. I find it hard to imagine surviving that long, clearly in a first-world country from his clothing, and thinking the Earth could change rotation direction -- I'm being generous and assuming he didn't mean "revolution" . I mean, really, just how low do we want the intellectual level to be here? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucian With the exception of mathematics, all science depends on observation. I don't understand your point. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


The Earth will keep revolving in the same direction during a geomagnetic reversal.

There have been a few articles about this phenomenon published during 2018:

National Geographic - No, We're Not All Doomed by Earth's Magnetic Field Flip

Science Daily - Earth's magnetic field is not about to reverse

The Conversation - The Earth’s magnetic field reverses more often – now we know why

  • $\begingroup$ I am posting the answer given by Dr Christopher S. Baird. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 2:24

I had sought an answer from Dr. Christopher S. Baird and am forwarding his answer. That is incorrect. At present, the north geographic pole points toward the North Star, and the south magnetic pole points approximately toward the North Star. After the next reversal, the south magnetic pole will point away from Antarctica.

When the magnetic poles flip, it will have zero effect on the physical orientation of the earth or the location of its geographic poles. The north geographic pole will still be in the arctic near Canada and point towards the North Star, and the south geographic pole will still be in Antarctica. The rotation of the earth (which determines the geographic poles) has a slight, indirect, complicated influence on the spiraling flow of earth's liquid outer core (which determines the magnetic poles). That is why the geographic poles and magnetic poles are close to being aligned. However, the spiraling flow of earth's liquid core has no effect on earth's overall rotation. This means that changes to the earth's magnetic field do not affect the earth's overall rotation. The sun will still rise in the East.

  • $\begingroup$ You have a number of incorrect points in this answer. Worth sorting out what you mean by "toward the North star" and "away from Antarctica" - also, Mick's post was already correct when you posted this $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 12:17

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