Report

Global Distribution of Crustal Magnetization Discovered by the Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER Experiment

Science  30 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5415, pp. 790-793
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5415.790

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Abstract

Vector magnetic field observations of the martian crust were acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) magnetic field experiment/electron reflectometer (MAG/ER) during the aerobraking and science phasing orbits, at altitudes between ∼100 and 200 kilometers. Magnetic field sources of multiple scales, strength, and geometry were observed. There is a correlation between the location of the sources and the ancient cratered terrain of the martian highlands. The absence of crustal magnetism near large impact basins such as Hellas and Argyre implies cessation of internal dynamo action during the early Naochian epoch (∼4 billion years ago). Sources with equivalent magnetic moments as large as 1.3 × 1017 ampere-meter2in the Terra Sirenum region contribute to the development of an asymmetrical, time-variable obstacle to solar wind flow around Mars.

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