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Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.
This is a view of the Earth's magnetosphere.
Click on image for full size
Aris Multimedia Entertainment, Inc. 1994

The Moon's Magnetosphere

Unlike the Earth, which has a protective shield around it called the magnetosphere, the surface of the moon is not protected from the solar wind. This picture shows the magnetosphere surrounding the Earth, with the Earth a small object in the center.

A planet's magnetosphere is provided through its magnetic field. To create a magnetic field, a planet or moon must have magnetic material such has iron, which is warm enough to move around to form currents within the planet.

Over time planets and moons freeze completely through. It is possible that the moon has little magnetic field because it's iron core has frozen solid. Further exploration of the Moon through missions such as Lunar Prospector will help scientists figure out what happened to the Moon's magnetic field.


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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Earth as a Magnet

The Earth has a magnetic field with north and south poles. The magnetic field of the Earth is surrounded by the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere keeps most of the particles from the sun, carried in solar...more

The Magnetic Field

The force of magnetism causes material to point along the direction the magnetic force points. Here's another picture of how this works. This picture shows where the magnetic poles of the Earth are to...more

How do we know what the inside of a Planet or Moon is like?

You may wonder how it is that scientists know what the inside of a planet is like. The way the mass of a body is spread inside the body affects how the body spins in space. If the body has a large core,...more

The Lunar Atmosphere

People used to think that moons such as the Earth's moon had no atmosphere whatsoever. Now, however, measurements have shown that most of these moons are surrounded by a *very* thin region of molecules...more

The Co-Formation Theory

The co-formation theory explains the origin of the moon as an object which formed out of the initial cloud of gas and dust at the same time and roughly the same place as the Earth. As shown in this picture,...more

The Moon's Magnetosphere

Unlike the Earth, which has a protective shield around it called the magnetosphere, the surface of the moon is not protected from the solar wind. This picture shows the magnetosphere surrounding the Earth,...more

Nicknames for the Full Moon

Do you know anybody who has a nickname? Did you know that the Full Moon has a bunch of nicknames? Native Americans who lived in the North and East parts of North America had many nicknames for the Full...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA