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A magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength and/or direction of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the instrument. Magnetism varies from place to place and differences in Earth's magnetic field (the magnetosphere) can be caused by the differing nature of rocks and the interaction between charged particles from the Sun and the magnetosphere. Magnetometers are a frequent component instrument on spacecraft that explore planets.



Magnetometers are used in ground-based electromagnetic geophysical surveys (such as magnetotellurics and magnetic surveys) to assist with detecting mineralization and corresponding geological structures. Airborne geophysical surveys use magnetometers that can detect magnetic field variations caused by mineralization, using airplanes like the Shrike Commander.[1] Magnetometers are also used to detect archaeological sites, shipwrecks and other buried or submerged objects, and in metal detectors to detect metal objects, such as guns in security screening. Magnetic anomaly detectors detect submarines for military purposes.

They are used in directional drilling for oil or gas to detect the azimuth of the drilling tools near the drill bit. They are most often paired up with accelerometers in drilling tools so that both the inclination and azimuth of the drill bit can be found.

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