Magnetic field on the surface of Mars is ten times stronger than predicted, New data collected by magnetic sensors on board the NASA InSight spacecraft provide an unprecedented close-up of the magnetic field of Mars.
Scientists have found that the magnetic field at the InSight landing site is ten times stronger than expected and is between seconds and days in time.
One thing that was not known from the previous satellite mission was what form of magnetization in a small area.
Attaching the first magnetic sensor to the surface has given us valuable new clues about the deep structure and atmosphere of Mars that will help us understand how that happens – and other planets like this. Magnetic field on the surface of Mars is ten times stronger than predicted.
Prior to the InSight mission, the best estimates for the Martian magnetic field came from satellites orbiting high above the planet and averaging over 150 kilometers.
Soil data gives us a far more sensitive picture of how smaller areas are magnetized and where they come from. The data not only shows that the magnetic field of the landing location is ten times that of the predicted satellite, but also shows that it is from the closest source. Magnetic field on the surface of Mars is ten times stronger than predicted.
Scientists know that Mars has an ancient magnetic field billions of years ago that magnetized rocks on the planet before it was mysteriously closed.
Because most of the rock at the surface is too young to be magnetized by this ancient field, the team believes that it must originate from deeper underground.
The team hopes to combine InSight’s results with magnetic satellite data and future studies of Mars rocks to determine which rocks are magnetized and how old they are.
Magnetic sensors also provide new clues to phenomena that occur high in the upper atmosphere and in outer space around Mars.
Just like Earth, Mars is exposed to the solar wind, a stream of charged particles from the sun that carries an interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and can cause disturbances such as solar storms. However, because Mars has no global magnetic field, it is less protected from the sun. Magnetic field on the surface of Mars is ten times stronger than predicted.
Sensors detect magnetic field fluctuations between day and night and short and mysterious waves around midnight and confirm that events inside and above the upper atmosphere can be detected on the surface.
The team believes that day and night fluctuations result from a combination of solar wind and the IMF around the planet and solar radiation that fills the upper atmosphere and produces an electric current which in turn produces a magnetic field.
We believe this impulse is also related to the interaction of the solar wind with Mars, but we still don’t know exactly what causes it, researchers say. Every time you take measurements for the first time, you will find a shock and this is one of our “magnet” surprises. Magnetic field on the surface of Mars is ten times stronger than predicted.
In the future, the InSight team wants to monitor the surface magnetic field as MAVEN’s orbit crosses InSight to compare data.
The main function of magnetic sensors is to eliminate magnetic “noise” from the environment and the earth itself for our seismic experiments. So this is all bonus information that directly supports general mission objectives.
For example, different time fields will be very useful for future studies of the deep conductivity structure of Mars, which is related to its internal temperature.