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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 its iron core has frozen solid. Further measurements via missions such as Lunar Prospector which supply information about the size and electrical conductivity of the lunar core will help scientists figure out the origins and evolution of the Moon and its magnetic field.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF