Magnetic stripes

Magnetic stripes

. Alternating bands of magnetic polarity are most prominent in this part of the southern highlands, near Terra Cimmeria and Terra Sirenium. The magnetic data were obtained from an instrument aboard the Mars Global Surveyor. This map is color coded red for a positive magnetic field pointing out of the planet and blue for a negative one pointing in, with a strength up to 1,500 nanoTesla, or 1.5 x 10-6 Tesla. Stripes of alternating polarity, or direction, extend up to 2000 kilometers across the planet in the east-west direction. They are similar to the magnetic patterns seen in the Earth’s crust at both sides of the mid-oceanic ridges, where the spreading crust has recorded flip-flop reversals in the Earth’s dipolar magnetic field. (Courtesy of NASA, JPL and GSFC.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University