NASA Logo, Mars Global Surveyor
MGS over Olympus Mons,
 Artwork by Corby Waste; Mars Global Surveyor, Magnetic Field Experiment, MAG/ER
, GSFC UCB CESR UDBRI NSF UGRAZ RICE; cover art of GRL Vol. 28, No. 21 with blac
k background

Mars Global Surveyor Magnetic Field Experiment

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Demagnetization of the Martian Crust by Giant Impacts

The giant impacts that took place less than 500 million years after the formation of Mars and throughout the Solar System caused the destruction of the magnetized crust of the planet. The animation (5.1 MB mpeg) shows regions of positive (red) and negative (blue) radial magnetization on Mars prior to and after the impact of a large asteroid or similar body. Note the disappearance of magnetic regions after cooling [below the Curie point] of the crust affected by the impact. This was due to the absence at this time of a global magnetic field of internal origin.

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