When the Earth Flares Up: another comic searches for a magnetic field

22. 09. 2021

How does the Earth‘s magnetic field work? Where does it reach? And what is the mysterious geomagnetic power? A new comic called When the Earth Flares Up casts light on those questions. It was prepared by scientists from the Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences to inspire pupils, students, teachers, and adults to discover physics in a new way

The comic tells a story of two siblings pursuing some strange sounds they heard on a radio station at their grandpa’s. Through this tale, the readers get to know how and where the geomagnetic field comes into existence, how it manifests itself, and why it is necessary for the Earth to have it.

“I gladly and quite often present for students– that’s why I know it is not easy to attract teenagers’ attention. Our comic should help the teachers to explain the schoolwork in a more fun way,” Petr Brož says, one of the authors from the Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (the CAS).

The comic: When the Earth Flares Up

Physics can be sometimes challenging to understand, especially when it comes to imperceptible powers.

 “I think that one can use this comic not only in geography classes, but also in physics or English and Czech classes,” Matěj Machek adds, another author of the comic.

A colouring book and a board game

The comic is not only a less traditional learning tool, but it has some further merits of its own. Only the cover is colourful, while pages and illustrations are black-and-white so that children (and youngsters, too) can colour it themselves. For the playful ones, there is a board game called Magnetosphere Chasers attached to the comics.

The comic: When the Earth Flares Up

The geologists co-worked on this comic with a physicist David Píša from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the CAS. It was drawn by Karolina Kučerová and written by Lucie Lukačovičová. The board game was designed by Julie Nováková. Both can be freely downloaded (ENG versions) and distributed as they are released under a Creative Commons license.

The first comic: When the Earth Quakes

It was not a new experience for the geologists, as both Matěj Machek and Petr Brož used a comic as an education tool before. The first comic book called When the Earth Quakes told a story of the origin of seismic waves during earthquakes, and highlighted their importance for discovering the structure of the Earth. A board game, again, was a bonus coming with that comic.

The first comic: When the Earth Quakes    The first comic: When the Earth Quakes

Text: Eliška Zvolánková, Division of External Relations, CAS Centre of Administration and Operations
Photos: Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

The Czech Academy of Sciences (the CAS)

The mission of the CAS

The primary mission of the CAS is to conduct research in a broad spectrum of natural, technical and social sciences as well as humanities. This research aims to advance progress of scientific knowledge at the international level, considering, however, the specific needs of the Czech society and the national culture.

President of the CAS

Prof. Eva Zažímalová has started her second term of office in May 2021. She is a respected scientist, and a Professor of Plant Anatomy and Physiology.

She is also a part of GCSA of the EU.