This image illustrates one way in which the magnetometer instrument studies the planet.
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL
The Martian Magnetosphere
An important new result from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the definite confirmation of the presence of a magnetic field near Mars. The magnetic field leads to the formation of a magnetosphere, as shown in this drawing. A magnetosphere helps protect a planet from the solar
wind, however, the Martian magnetosphere may be too small to do that very well. In this picture, MGS can be seen going around Mars.
The magnetosphere can be found outside of, but somewhat overlapping the planet's atmosphere. Particles of the atmosphere can sometimes enter the magnetosphere and particles of the magnetosphere can sometimes enter the atmosphere.
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, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
An important new result from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the definite confirmation of the presence of a magnetosphere around Mars. Previous missions did not make really good measurements...more
A magnetosphere has many parts, such as the bow shock, magnetosheath, magnetotail, plasmasheet, lobes, plasmasphere, radiation belts and many electric currents. It is composed of charged particles and...more
The Martian ionosphere is a layer of gas that is very high up above Mars and is composed of ions and electrons. It extends from about 75 miles up to several hundred miles up above the surface. It is shown...more
Unlike the Earth, where clouds are found around the entire globe, on Mars, clouds seem to be plentiful only in the equatorial region, as shown in this Hubble telescope image. This may be because water...more
An important new result from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the definite confirmation of the presence of a magnetic field near Mars. The magnetic field leads to the formation of a magnetosphere,...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, from Florida. After a six-month, 285 million-mile journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The Odyssey is in its aerobraking phase right now....more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more