Off World

Scientists have found evidence of a four billion year old ancient magnetic field on Mercury

  • The authors made their discovery by examining data from a series of low altitude orbital passes undertaken by Messenger at heights often less than 50 kilometres above Mercury’s crater-strewn surface.
  • Mercury’s global magnetic field provided scientists with evidence that the 2,440 kilometre wide planet still retains a partially molten iron core which acts as a geodynamo to produce the magnetic field.
  • The finding that Mercury’s core dynamo field was present early in the planet’s history provides important insight into the evolution of the planet’s core and the dynamo action within it.

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