New Evidence about Venus’s Magnetic Field

Venus does not generate an internal magnetic field. This makes it a rarity amongst the planets. This means that Venus does not have a magnetosphere that protects it but the Venus environment does exhibit a number of similarities with magnetic fields of planets such as Earth. Now there is new evidence for a magnetic reconnection in Venus’s induced magnetotail. (If you don’t know what that tail thing is then read on).

Earth's Magnetosphere

Earth's Magnetosphere

Planets which generate a magnetic field in their interior are surrounded by a magnetic field called a magnetosphere. This magnetic field deflects the charged particles of the solar wind from the Sun which consists of electrons and protons. The deflection creates a magnetosphere which is a protective bubble around the planet which ends in an elongated magnetotail on the lee side of the magnetosphere, shaped like a comet’s tail.

Aurora

Aurora

Spacecraft have observed over the years that magnetic reconnection occurs frequently in the magnetosphere’s on Earth, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. This process converts magnetic energy into kinetic energy. Magnetic reconnection occurs when oppositely connected magnetic field lines break and reconnect with each other. This reconnection on Earth is responsible for magnetic storms and polar Aurora’s (the Northern and Southern lights). Until now reconnection was not thought to occur around Venus.

Venus Express

Venus Express

The Venus express spacecraft found the evidence. It observed a rotational magnetic field structure over a period of about three minutes. This event was thought to be evidence of a passing plasmoid in which a transient magnetic loop is formed by magnetic reconnection in a planetary magnetotail.

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  1. Dave M says:

    We will never be able to explore Venus, because a compass will not work there

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