Jupiter’s weird magnetic field

New data from Juno has revealed that Jupiter’s magnetic field acts like it has three poles, one at each pole and another near the equator.

If Earth’s magnetic field resembles that of a bar magnet, Jupiter’s field looks like someone took a bar magnet, bent it in half and splayed it at both ends. The field emerges in a broad swath across Jupiter’s northern hemisphere and re-enters the planet both around the south pole and in a concentrated spot just south of the equator, researchers report in the Sept. 6 Nature.

“We were baffled” at the finding, says study coauthor Kimberly Moore, a graduate student at Harvard University.

They think the multiple poles are a result of the complexity of Jupiter’s inner core, which likely does not have the same kind of organization as a rocky terrestrial planet.


  • Max

    I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that the strong south magnetic pole, just below the equator, is the approximate location of the great red spot. I hope there is some verification on this, it would answer much.

    The explanation in the article shows that they have no clue what is going on. It reminds me of a witches spell involving eye of newt, tail feather from a Phoenix, and horn of unicorn…
    From the article;
    “One possibility is that the extreme temperature and pressure near Jupiter’s core create a soup of rock and ice partly dissolved in liquid metallic hydrogen. Here, the interplay of turbulent layers might generate a convoluted magnetic field. Or perhaps squalls of helium rain closer to the clouds stir up conductive layers below, contorting the field before it emerges from the clouds.”

    It sounds more like the recipe for a new alcoholic drink, inert helium to give the drinker a change in Voice. A nice touch for an unforgettable moment…

    Everything we thought we knew about Jupiter has been changing. We learned earlier this year that the magnetic field does not pass through the core of the planet, but through the cloud layers which they discovered are much thicker than they thought.
    So thick that the weight of the atmosphere pushing down creates so much friction the temperatures are over17,000° (tungsten has the highest boiling point of any substance at 10,000°, the surface of the sun is at 9,500°)
    At these temperatures, I’m guessing that the high pressure transition zone between vapor and liquid there is a layer of plasma that strips the electrons from the hydrogen and other gases that create the electrical currents which flow in the path of least resistance and can be mapped by the magnetic field. Chaotic and moving around.
    Electricity flowing inside of a strong magnetic field will cause gases with a high pH (like hydrogen) to spin violently.
    If the magnetic blue spot is also Jupiter’s red spot, it is a concentrated magnetic field second only to the sun. Cosmic radiation will flow in chemically changing the atmosphere like a supercollider changes elements.
    No wonder the wind speed of this storm is unbelievable.
    120 km/s, 268,432 Miles per hour?
    Further in towards core the pressure forces liquid hydrogen to become a solid though it is over 60,000°. (Six times hotter than the photosphere of the sun)
    There are some strange things that will be happening at this point that no one can predict. The hydrogen becomes super critical fluid, and it is also superconducting. Any substance that makes it to the core of Jupiter will be exotic in the extreme. A core of diamonds will seem boring in comparison.

  • Max

    I was thinking… It’s too bad that these unusual and rare elements will be unavailable to us, nothing can withstand the heat and pressure that it would take to retrieve such an exotic materials.
    Then I remembered our conversation about capturing astroids by dropping them through the atmosphere to slow them down.
    Perfect! at least it is the one thing that could survive passing completely through Jupiters hydrogen atmosphere.
    If one of Saturn’s or Jupiter’s large moons was to be completely mined out so that the husk is hollow, full of cavities…
    Then move it into to the gravity field of a larger moon to swing it towards Jupiter.
    The airlocks can be opened when it reaches the right depth filling the empty shell with compressed elements before resealing. Much of the moon will be destroyed, of course assuming that it’s mostly liquid and not a solid deep down. Whatever is down there will be impaled on the outer surface.
    Methods to increase its chances of survival could be taken, like dropping it in the center of a large storm to take advantage of the vortex, or a string of hydrogen bombs to expand its path so that more of it will survive the passage.
    I know, it’s the stuff of science fiction…

  • Alex Andrite

    So, +, -, and null ?
    N., S., and N./S. ?
    Sort of like the “Three Body Problem” ?

  • Max

    Here is 3-D rotation of Jupiter’s magnetic field.
    I hope it works.

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