This figure illustrates the motions of the interior which contribute toward generating the magnetosphere.
Click on image for full size
Image from: Random House Atlas
The Generation of Saturn's Magnetosphere
Magnetospheres are generated with 1.) magnetic materials and 2.) with motions within the magnetic material.
The Earth-like planets generate magnetospheres from iron at the center.
But Saturn has almost no iron core. The magnetic material of Saturn is found within the liquid metallic shell. Motions within that shell produce the magnetic field.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
The first liquid layer inside Saturn, right under the atmosphere, is a layer of liquid hydrogen!. The air becomes thicker and thicker, like a dense fog, with more and more liquid drops, until the hydrogen...more
Have you ever seen the Southern or Northern Lights? Did you know that other planets (besides Earth) have them too? Scientists call these cosmic light shows the "aurora". Saturn is one of the planets that...more
Saturn's plasmasphere is pretty big. Most of the plasma comes from the donut-shaped cloud of material from Titan and the other icy moons. Besides ions and electrons, the plasmasphere also contains very...more
La plasmasfera de Saturno es bastante grande. La mayoría del plasma proviene de una nube con forma de rosca (toroide) de material de Titán y otras lunas heladas. Aparte de iones y electrones, la plasmasfera...more
The most important motions in the atmosphere are winds. The major winds in Saturn's atmosphere are the zonal winds which are made of zones and belts. Zones and belts blow in opposite directions around...more
The clouds on Saturn, like Jupiter, are divided into stripes called "belts and zones". In a belt, very powerful winds blow one way. In a zone, very powerful winds blow the other way. These kinds of winds...more
The position of the planets in the solar nebula affected how big they became and what they were made of. The blue line in the picture shows where it became so cold that ice began to form. Planets that...more