Mercury's magnetic field is tilted by about 10°. Its magnetic poles and geographic poles are not, therefore, in the same place.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image
The Magnetic Poles of Mercury
Mercury has a weak magnetic field. Like Earth's magnetic field, Mercury's dipole field is tilted with respect to the planet's spin axis. This means that Mercury's magnetic poles and its geographic poles are not in the same place.
Mercury has a global magnetic field that is about 1% as strong as Earth's field. Mercury's magnetic field is apparently generated by swirling motions in the planet's molten iron core, in a manner similar to Earth. Mercury has a very large iron core; it fills about 42% of the planet's volume as compared to 17% for Earth.
Mercury's dipole magnetic field axis is tilted about 10° away from its spin axis. That tilt is very similar to Earth's (~11°) and Jupiter's (9.6°), much less than the tilt at Uranus (59°) and Neptune (47°), and larger than Saturn's (< 1°). Because Mercury's magnetic field is tilted, its magnetic poles are not located in quite the same places as are its geographic poles.
You might also be interested in:
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...more
If Uranus is the "tilted planet", Mercury might be called the "upright planet". The spin axis of Uranus, which defines the locations of the planet's North and South Poles, is tilted by 98°. The spin axis...more
The force of magnetism causes material to point along the direction the magnetic force points. This property implies that the force of magnetism has a direction. As shown in the diagram to the left, the...more
The planet Uranus has an odd magnetic field. The planet's magnetic poles are nowhere near the geographic poles (as defined by the spin axis) of Uranus. A portion of the magnetic field of Uranus is a dipole...more
Mercury has a weak magnetic field. Like Earth's magnetic field, Mercury's dipole field is tilted with respect to the planet's spin axis. This means that Mercury's magnetic poles and its geographic poles...more
Mercury has very little atmosphere. The planet's small size means that its gravity is too weak to hold down a normal atmosphere. There is a very thin atmosphere around the planet. Mercury's thin atmosphere...more