It is thought planets have dynamos in their centre. This explains the intensity and geometry of the magnetic fields found on the surface. The dynamo is in the form of a fluid sphere of molten iron which is churning around producing electric currents and magnetic fields. But Mars has a strange field. Only the southern hemisphere has a strong magnetic field, emanating from the crust. Secondly, this crustal field is very strong, about ten times what’s found on Earth or other rocky planets. This is one of a range of amazing anomalies with Mars. Saturn has other problems. Its fields are too perfect. Sabine Stanley explains.
Also huffduffed as…
Cassini has given us a whole new view of Saturn, Titan, and other moons of this amazing and beautiful ringed world. Kevin Grazier from Cassini provides an overview of what has been learned so far from the mission and talks with Bob Mitchell, the Cassini Program Manager, and John Smith, the Cassini tour designer.
As the Worlds Turn —If you’re itching it get away from it all, really get away from it all, have we got some exotic destinations for you. Mars … Jupiter’s moon Europa … asteroids . Tour some enticing worlds that are worlds away, but ripe for exploration. Also, why private spaceships may be just the ticket for getting yourself into space, unless you want to wait for a space elevator. And, why one science journalist boasts of an infectious, unabashed, and unbridled enthusiasm for space travel.
From landing Curiosity on Mars to finding a Higgs-like particle and the Encode project to map the genome â we review the year in science