The sad magnetic state of the solar system’s rocky worlds | Science News

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The sad magnetic state of the solar system’s rocky worlds

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8:00am, September 7, 2015
Aurora

PLANETARY PROTECTION  Earth’s magnetic field deflects charged solar particles toward the planet’s poles, generating auroras. This photo was taken from (and shows parts of) the International Space Station.

A powerful global magnetic field envelops Earth in a cozy blanket of protection against bursts of solar particles (see "The magnetic mystery at the center of the Earth"). But the solar system’s other rocky worlds aren’t so lucky.

MercuryMercury: Paltry

The most petite planet has an appropriately puny magnetic field, just 1.1 percent as strong as Earth’s (SN Online: 5/7/15).

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