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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Jupiter's Quadrupole Component

Jupiter's magnetosphere is very pointed and bullet-shaped, because of the nature of how it is created within Jupiter.

The left diagram shows a typical dipole, which is very much like the Earth's magnetic field in shape. The Earth's field is shown to the right.
Jupiter's magnetic field, shown to the right is not shaped like a dipole at all.
This means that the quadrupole and octupole components of the magnetic field must be more important at Jupiter than at the Earth. These components all add together to make up Jupiter's magnetic field.

These drawings show the different components of the magnetosphere of Jupiter.
Click on image for full size version (92K GIF)
Images courtesy of JPL/NASA

"What is a Magnetosphere?"

Last modified June 23, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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