Jupiter's Magnetic Field Did Not Have A North Pole - Alternative View
Jupiter's Magnetic Field Did Not Have A North Pole - Alternative View
Video: Jupiter's Magnetic Field Did Not Have A North Pole - Alternative View
Video: Exploring Jupiter's Magnetic Field 2023, February
Anonim

In contrast to the simple bipolar magnetic field of the Earth, the magnetosphere of Jupiter turned out to be complex and devoid of the "usual" North Pole.

Jupiter's powerful magnetic field holds the mass of charged cosmic particles, which create powerful radiation belts around it. The American probe Juno operating in its vicinity made it possible to measure the intensity of the Jupiter magnetosphere at different depths and to build its three-dimensional "map". This work, a report on which scientists published in the journal Nature, pointed to a new strangeness in the giant planet's magnetic field: its North and South poles are completely different from each other.

It is believed that magnetospheres emerge from the motions of metal masses in the liquid core. The structure of the magnetosphere of the Earth or Saturn resembles an ordinary symmetric magnetic cylinder, invisibly passing through the center of the planet and coming out to the surface at the magnetic poles located near the geographical (they coincide with Saturn). Uranus and Neptune, spinning on their sides, have more complex and intricate magnetospheres. Jupiter's magnetic field was also unusual.

The Juno spacecraft measured the magnetosphere of the gas giant near the surface of the atmosphere and at three depth levels and found that there is one quite ordinary magnetic pole in the south of the planet, but the structure of the fields of the Northern Hemisphere turns out to be much more complex. Their lines of force form a pronounced spot near the equator (by analogy with the famous Great Red Spot of Jupiter, scientists called it the Great Blue Spot), rushing towards the North Pole.

Differences between the magnetosphere of the Northern (left) and Southern (right) hemispheres of Jupiter. Bright blue color shows the South magnetic pole of the planet, red - tangled lines of the North
Differences between the magnetosphere of the Northern (left) and Southern (right) hemispheres of Jupiter. Bright blue color shows the South magnetic pole of the planet, red - tangled lines of the North

Differences between the magnetosphere of the Northern (left) and Southern (right) hemispheres of Jupiter. Bright blue color shows the South magnetic pole of the planet, red - tangled lines of the North.

The study's authors - a team of scientists led by renowned Harvard geophysicist Jeremy Bloxham - offer a possible explanation for these oddities. The Earth's magnetosphere is formed by the heat of the inner core of the planet, which heats the dense and homogeneous outer core and causes movements in it. Movement in Jupiter's core can be more complex due to its size, structure, or inhomogeneous composition, including substances with different compositions and properties.

Sergey Vasiliev

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