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

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


The List

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

By
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.

Mercury: 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).

Venus: Zilch

Earth’s nearest neighbor doesn’t generate a planet-wide magnetic

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content