Shop Windows to the Universe

We now offer the Cool It! card game in our Science Store. Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change.

An Overview of Neptune's Magnetosphere

The magnetosphere of Neptune is very much like that of Uranus, medium sized but still much larger than the Earth's. Like that of Uranus, is probably generated in the icy middle layers of the interior, rather than with a metallic component at the core.

Like Uranus, the magnetosphere of Neptune has an extreme tilt, almost 60 degrees from the vertical. Because the rotation axis of Neptune is not tilted however, the magnetosphere of Neptune has a more standard, but still completely unique structure.

Mathematical theory suggests that the rings of Neptune affect the motion of particles in this unique magnetosphere, and also are responsible for the presence of three small plasmaspheres instead of one large version!

Like Saturn, Neptune's magnetosphere produces faint aurora, as well as radio emissions and other waves, such as whistler waves, chorus and hiss.

"What is a Magnetosphere?"

Detecting Magnetic Fields with Spacecraft

The Poles of Neptune

Last modified April 22, 2009 by Randy Russell.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

The Generation of Neptune's Magnetosphere

Magnetospheres are generated with magnetic materials and motions within the magnetic material. Scientists believe that as long as a planet or star has these two ingredients it can generate a magnetic...more

Motions in Neptune's Interior

Motions in the interior of a planet helps to carry heat from the core to the planet's surface. The drawing to the left illustrates a kind of global motion that is typical of motions in the atmosphere as...more

Dipole, Quadrupole, and Multipole Magnetic Fields

You are probably familiar with bar magnets. Bar magnets have two magnetic poles - north and south. The magnetic field around a bar magnet is called a dipole ("two poles") magnetic field. Bar magnets are...more

Discover Neptune

If you had a quiz question in school that asked what year Neptune was discovered, you'd probably choose 1846. But Neptune wasn't discovered the way all the other planets in our solar system were. Astronomers...more

An Overview of Neptune's Atmosphere

Neptune's atmosphere shows a striped pattern of clouds. This cloud pattern is very similar to that of Jupiter and Saturn. Neptune even has a Great Dark Spot similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The structure...more

Neptune's Present Great Dark Spot

This image shows the new Great Dark Spot of Neptune, which was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope. The image shown here, shows a "hole" in the clouds of Neptune in pink, in the northern hemisphere,...more

An Overview of Neptune's Atmospheric Evolution

Atmospheres of the giant planets have definitely evolved from their formation out of the primitive solar nebula. How much they have evolved remains to be seen, however. Because of their enormous gravity,...more

Neptune's Cirrus Clouds

This image shows some cirrus clouds, extending for many kilometers across the disc of Neptune. These clouds are somewhat high up, for they can be seen to cast shadows on the lower clouddeck, which is 35...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