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Unformatted text preview: interior can be made to swirl about if the planet is rotating quickly enough. The faster a planet rotates, the more the material gets stirred up and, therefore, the stronger the generated magnetic field. If the liquid interior becomes solid or if the rotation slows down, the magnetic field will weaken. So in summary what a planet needs in order to produce a strong magnetic field is (1) a liquid conducting (metallic) interior and (2) rapid rotation to get the conducting material moving about. For the terrestrial planets plate tectonics may also play a role. Plate tectonics cools the planet's mantle creating a large enough temperature difference between the core and mantle to produce convection in the metallic core needed to make a magnetic field. Let's see how this theory explains the presence or lack of a magnetic field on some of the planets:...
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
- Fall '10