This is an artist's drawing of the process that creates alternating magnetic bands in the crust of a planet. The red in the picture is north and blue is south.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Scientists Have Found Ancient Mars to be Like Earth
News story originally written on May 10, 1999
Scientists have found new evidence supporting a theory that
ancient Mars was similar to our current Earth. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor
is finding magnetic field patterns on Mars' surface. These bands are
frozen in the planet's crust, carrying a record of the changes
which occurred over the past millions of years.
On Earth, the magnetic field lines switch their flow between the
north and south poles. Each time they switch, the bands are
frozen in rock that escaped from the Earth's crust. This same pattern was
found on Mars, and will be used to study the early development of the red
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