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Magnetic Fields of the Earth and Mars a Comparison and DiscussionIn several aspects the magnetic fields of the Earth and Mars are similar but also different. In the past both bodies had planetary magnetic fields but while they Earth's field remains today the Martian ceased to operate, at some unknown time in the past, leaving this planet without a main or core field. This fact resulted in the interaction between the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields with the surfaces of these planets being very different. In addition, Mars has large crustal magnetic anomalies, nearly ten times larger than those on the Earth. Since crustal magnetic anomalies are the product of the thickness of the layer of magnetization, both the magnetizing material and the thickness of the layer of this material must be very different on Mars than Earth. Furthermore, the martian anomalies can only be produced by remanent or fossil magnetization, in contrast with the Earth where both induced and remanent magnetization are producing these anomalies. Crustal magnetic anomalies on the Earth are mainly produced by single-domain, irontitanium oxides, in the form of magnetite being the most common on Mars the main magnetic mineral(s) are unknown. The thickness of the martian magnetized layer in comparison with the Earth remains a major area for research. Determining the paleopole position for the Earth has been done by some of the earliest paleomagnetic researchers. Since we do not have oriented martian rock samples determining the paleopoles for Mars has been done by fitting a magnetization vector to individual magnetic anomalies. Several groups have worked on this problem with somewhat differing results.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Taylor, Patrick T. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.