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This is a drawing of Mercury's magnetosphere
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Magnetosphere of Mercury

Mercury is the only terrestrial planet other than the Earth that has a significant magnetic field (220 nT). This field, along with the planet's high density and small size relative to the Earth, indicates that it probably has a molten iron core. The magnetic field is approximately dipolar and is tilted less than 10 degrees from Mercury's rotation axis. Mariner 10 observed a shock wave called a "bow shock" in front of the planet, where the planet's magnetic field meets the magnetic field carried by the oncomi ng solar wind. Other magnetospheric phenomena have been observed at Mercury.

Last modified June 1, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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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