PIA00947: Mars' Inner Core
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Spacecraft: Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
Instrument: Magnetometer
Product Size: 861 x 689 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Goddard Space Flight Center
Producer ID: MRPS84977
Addition Date: 1997-10-13
Primary Data Set: MGS EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA00947.tif (232.6 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA00947.jpg (51.04 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This figure shows a cross-section of the planet Mars revealing an inner, high density core buried deep within the interior. Dipole magnetic field lines are drawn in blue, showing the global scale magnetic field that one associates with dynamo generation in the core. Mars must have one day had such a field, but today it is not evident. Perhaps the energy source that powered the early dynamo has shut down. The differentiation of the planet interior - heavy elements like iron sinking towards the center of the planet - can provide energy as can the formation of a solid core from the liquid.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/GSFC

Image Addition Date:
1997-10-13