MAVEN Mars Electric Currents

May 25, 2020

This image is from a scientific visualization of the electric currents around Mars. Electric currents (blue and red arrows) envelop Mars in a nested, double-loop structure that wraps continuously around the planet from its day side to its night side. These current loops distort the solar wind magnetic field (not pictured), which drapes around Mars to create an induced magnetosphere around the planet. In the process, the currents electrically connect Mars’ upper atmosphere and the induced magnetosphere to the solar wind, transferring electric and magnetic energy generated at the boundary of the induced magnetosphere (faint inner paraboloid) and at the solar wind bow shock (faint outer paraboloid).

Credit

NASA/Goddard/MAVEN/CU Boulder/SVS/Cindy Starr

ENLARGE

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