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How Mars lost it's Groove

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  1. May 25, 2012 #1
    Hi all this is my first post. I'm not formally educated in physics concepts but find so much about it very interesting.

    I registered to ask if this is plausible:

    It appears we attribute our electromagnetic field on Earth to it's behavior deep inside the planet. There is supposedly a solid core in the middle surrounded by what might be molten metal that circulates in some regular way which creates the field. Right?

    On Mars resides the largest volcano in the solar system in Olympus Mons. Is it possible that much of Mars' required ingredient for an electromagnetic field (molten metal) was lost through this volcano and therefore couldn't maintain it's electromagnetic field?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2012 #2
    No, it's not possible. The amount of matter ejected by that volcano is tiny compared to the size of the planet.
    The only reason the volcano got so large is because of the absence of plate tectonics. On Earth for example, the crust would move over time, and the result would be a chain of volcanoes, instead of a single large one.

    The reason Mars lost its internal dynamo seems to be its size. Mars is simply too small and the core froze over time. Larger planets, like Earth, take far longer for that to happen.
     
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