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The magnetic field of MercuryData from Mariner 10 observations of Mercury indicate that there exists an intrinsic magnetic field of the planet, sufficiently strong at present to deflect the solar wind flow around the planet and to form a detached bow shock wave in the super Alfvenic solar wind. Four methods used to analyze the magnetic field data and derive quantitative values for the description of the planetary field include (1) comparison of bow shock and magnetopause relative positions at Mercury to those at Earth; (2) direct spherical harmonic analysis of the data; (3) modeling of the magnetosphere by an image dipole and infinite 2-D current sheet in addition to the planetary field; and (4) scaling of a mathematical model for the terrestrial magnetosphere. The results obtained yield dipole moments ranging from 2.4 to 5.1x10 to the 22d power, with the lower values associated cw cm with certain models using partial quadrupole and octupole terms to improve the least squares fitting of models to observations.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ness, N. F.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 3, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Conf. on Origins of Planetary Magnetism(Houston, TX)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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