It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript

Does Saturn Have a Magnetic Field?

does-saturn-have-magnetic-field

ANSWER:

Saturn DOES have a magnetic field.

More Info: Planetary magnetic fields are produced by the rotation of a molten metal core and Saturn has a rotating molten metal core so it does produce a magnetic field.  In fact, Saturn rotates very quickly at only 10 hours and 39 minutes per cycle.  The magnetic moment of Saturn’s magnetic field is 580 times greater than that of Earth’s magnetic field.

Saturn’s Magnetic Field Is Unique

Saturn’s magnetic field is unique because Saturn’s axis of rotation has a very small tilt of less than 0.06 degrees.  This rotation creates a magnetic field that is extremely axisymmetric.

Saturn’s Magnetic Field Simple

If you imagine a planet’s rotation as a spinning top, the Earth would be spinning on a tilted axis and the top would move around in an erratic fashion.  However, Saturn would be spinning on an almost perfectly vertical axis and the spinning top would be very close to stationary.  Similarly, the magnetic field produced by Saturn’s rotation is simpler than the one produced by Earth’s rotation because of its symmetry.

Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

Saturn’s magnetic field is much weaker than Jupiter’s even though Saturn’s diameter is only 15 percent smaller.  The effects of the magnetosphere of both planets can be observed by the aurorae sometimes visible at their poles.

 

Resources

“Saturn: Magnetic Field and Magnetosphere.” UCLA – IGPP Space Physics Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.edu/personnel/russell/papers/sat_mag.html

“Jupiter and Saturn.” University of Northern Iowa | University of Northern Iowa. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.  http://www.uni.edu/morgans/astro/course/Notes/section4/new20.html

Copyright 2009-2016

Sophisticated Media LLC

Terms of Service l Privacy Policy

Contact Us