Researchers have discovered that Jupiter’s magnetic field is very different from that of the earth. Their analysis is based on data from the Juno spacecraft. NASA sent the ship to Jupiter back in 2011. In 2016, Juno approached the gas giant at a distance of 4000 km from the surface. The last two years the device has not taken its eyes off the magnetic field of the planet. What do the data show?
When mapping the magnetic field of the planet, usually colored lines are used to demonstrate the magnetic flux. Therefore, the earth's magnetic field is displayed as lines emerging from the north pole, making a bend and returning to the south. The result looks like a large bar magnet. But something strange is going on with Jupiter.
Magnetic field lines: a - north polar view, b - southeast, c - equatorial. The non-dipolar nature of the magnetic field in the northern hemisphere and the dipole in the southern is striking. The equatorial view is concentrated near the Big Blue Spot and shows the connection of the magnetic field lines drooping through the Spot. The contour surface is located at r = 0.85RJ, where the density of the field lines is proportional to the radial magnetic field strength and is represented by the color gamut (red is the external flow and blue is the internal) The gas giant has flow lines emerging from the north pole. However, the planet has two points of return: at the south pole and near the equator! In addition, in the case of the Earth, the magnetic field is distributed between the poles, and in Jupiter all lines are concentrated in the northern hemisphere.
There is also a question about how magnetic fields are generated. It is believed that in the Earth the main mechanism is the internal dynamo - the bubbling electrically conductive fluids in the core. But scientists believe that Jupiter consists of helium and hydrogen, which are not particularly in a hurry to conduct electricity. Hence the theories that a strong pressure inside the planet led to the formation of liquid metallic hydrogen, whose behavior resembles metals.
Scientists also note that so far there are no data explaining the strangeness of the behavior of Jupiter’s magnetic field. But they believe that the answers are hidden in the unique internal structure of the planet.