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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Earth and Martian Magnetic Fields

left image is of Earth's
magnetic field; right image is of Mars' magnetic field

This is an artist's concept comparing the present day magnetic fields on Earth and Mars. Earth's magnetic field is generated by an active dynamo - a hot core of molten metal. The magnetic field surrounds Earth and is considered global (left image). The various Martian magnetic fields do not encompass the entire planet and are local (right image). The Martian dynamo is extinct, and its magnetic fields are "fossil" remnants of its ancient, global magnetic field.

IMAGE CREDIT: NASA Mario Acuņa, Jack Connerney, Chris Meaney

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MGS MAG/ER is an international collaboration by: