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ESA Space Science

Magnetic wonder

9 Sep 2019, 08:44 UTC
Magnetic wonder NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

By studying the rocks inside impact craters like this one, ESA research fellow Joana S. Oliveira has found that the location of Mercury’s magnetic field has changed over time in surprising ways.

Just like Earth, Mercury has a liquid metallic core, the motions within generating the magnetic field. On Earth, our magnetic north and south poles drift between about 10 and 60 km per year, with our planet’s magnetic field orientation flipping more than 100 times in the course of its 4.5 billion years.

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