Unravelling the Strange Mysteries of Mars’ Magnetic Field

Thanks to data from NASA’s MAVEN satellite, researchers have created the very first detailed map of the electric currents responsible for shaping the magnetic field that wraps around Mars.

Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder have created the very first detailed map of the electric currents responsible for shaping the magnetic field that wraps around Mars, and the resulting visualizations can provide clues as to how we can maybe make this inhospitable planet, hospitable.

Unlike Earth, Mars doesn’t have an intrinsic magnetic field to stop charged particles from stripping away its atmosphere, nor does it have global magnetic field to protect it from the rigors of space weather.

The red planet however does have spots of local, induced magnetism and researchers have now been able to create an incredible, detailed map of the electric currents that are responsible for shaping these magnetic fields.

The team working with the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft have been able to produce some jaw-dropping visualizations from the captured magnetic readings.

Find out more about how these visualizations came to be and what this detailed map could mean for our future understanding of Mars’ atmosphere in this Elements.

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