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Can a planet/moon's atmosphere generate a magnetic field?

  1. Jul 15, 2012 #1
    Excluding another large planet in close proximity, can a planet/moon's atmosphere generate a magnetic field, or is it only generated from the core? If the atmosphere was charged enough with electrical storms perhaps? Thoughts?
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  3. Jul 15, 2012 #2


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    Any celestial object needs to have a conductive core and rotate to generate a sustainable magnetic field. It is the dynamo effect that generates the magnetic field. You don't get much of a dynamo effect with all the charge at the surface.
  4. Aug 3, 2012 #3
    What about something like Jupiter's Red Eye on a larger scale? Couldn't that create a located field under the right circumstances?
  5. Aug 4, 2012 #4


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    Its just rotating gas ..... an extremely huge hurricane of sorts

    you need significant amounts of nickel and iron or other conductive metallic element. For example, the inner core of the earth is solid nickel/iron, the outer core is liquid nickel/iron. The interaction of the 2 as Chronos said, is what produces the magnetic field.

    It is believed that Jupiter doesnt have an iron core and its magnetic field is generated slightly differently ( tho the principle is still the same)
    have a look at this www site.....


  6. Aug 5, 2012 #5
    Sounds like we don't have a complete understanding yet, and a planet's magnetic dipole can be far off from the center. Uranus and Neptune do not fit the standard model:

    But furthermore, each planet's magnetic dipole is offset from the planet's geometrical center. For Uranus, the offset is 30 percent of the planet's radius. Neptune's offset is worse: 55 percent.

    Earth's magnetic dipole is offset by 7.25 percent of Earth's radius, and Jupiter's dipole is offset by 13.1 percent of its radius. Saturn's dipole is offset by anywhere from 4 to 5 percent. So dipole offsets are not without precedent. But dipole offsets of such a large proportion are.


    For different reasons, Uranus and Neptune should not have magnetic fields, according to conventional theory. That they do is further evidence that conventional theories are inadequate to explain planetary magnetic fields.

  7. Aug 7, 2012 #6


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    On the Moon, numerous magnetic anomalies exist which collectively make up mini-magnetic fields. Electric fields associated with these magnetic fields deflect charged particles from the solar wind. It is commented that it may be possible to artificially enhance and link these fields to make the Moon more habitable for human exploration/exploitation.

    As high as 6000km above the lunar surface, electron beams and ion plumes are originated at the interaction zone between lunar electric fields and solar plasma, with electromagnetic and electrostatic waves found at even greater distances in the plasma ahead of the Moon.

    Several potential explanations of the origin of the lunar magnetic fields are mentioned.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
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