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A highly asymmetrical region surrounding the Earth, beginning about 100 km (62 mi) above the surface on the side of the Earth facing the Sun and extending hundreds of thousands of kilometers into space on the opposite side. In this region the Earth's magnetic field exerts a significant influence on any charged particles that encounter it. The magnetosphere deflects most of the charged particles in the solar wind, but also traps and deflects some of these particles toward the Earth's magnetic poles, causing magnetic storms and auroras.