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We need a better way to map Earth’s magnetic field. Finding it could win 1 of these teams $2 million

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A technology competition to devise a new means of more accurately measuring Earth’s magnetic field is entering its final phase, with one competing team in particular utilizing quantum effects in diamonds to measure shifts in the magnetic field.

Scientists map and track Earth’s magnetic field using something called the World Magnetic Model (WMM), which was jointly developed by the British Geological Survey and the US National Geophysical Data Center. Because Earth‘s magnetic poles have a tendency to wander, the WMM must be updated regularly, at least every five years. Since the WMM is used by aviation authorities, NATO, defense ministries and shipping navigation, any inaccuracies could ultimately lead to potentially dangerous scenarios, such as ships and planes going off course. 

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