The scientists managed to map the Jupiter’s magnetic field for the first time, and it confirms a fact that the astronomers already knew – Jupiter’s magnetosphere is really bizarre. Despite being too strong and vast, the Jupiter’s magnetic field is now presenting a more sophisticated nature than everything the scientists have ever witnessed.
Using the data gathered by NASA’s Juno during eight of its flyby missions, researchers for the United States and Denmark managed to map the vast and complex magnetic field of the largest planet in our solar system, the gas giant Jupiter. Accordingly, it is by 11 times larger than Earth’s magnetosphere and 20,000 times stronger.
Also, the scientists discovered that Jupiter’s magnetic field is even more sophisticated than estimated in previous studies and observations.
Jupiter’s magnetic field is really bizarre and much different from that of the Earth
While the Earth’s magnetosphere is predominantly dipolar, emerging from the planet’s southern pole and getting back in at the north pole, the magnetic field of Jupiter, the gas giant of our solar system, emerges from various regions of the northern hemisphere and connects to some area around the south pole. Additionally, the Jupiter’s magnetic field is more concentrated around a zone south of the equator called by astronomers as the Great Blue Spot of Jupiter.
“Before the Juno mission, our best maps of Jupiter’s field resembled Earth’s field. The main surprise was that Jupiter’s field is so simple in one hemisphere and so complicated in the other. None of the existing models predicted a field like that,” said Kimberly Moore, a planetary scientist at the Harvard University.
Also, the scientists found another bizarre fact. The non-dipolar part of the Jupiter’s magnetic field is mainly focused on the northern hemisphere. According to the researchers from the US and Denmark, who mapped the magnetosphere of Jupiter for the first time, there’s something unknown taking place at the core of the planet.