Uranus’ electromagnetic field turns on and off as the planet turns around its 60° tilted axe. This comes as a new discovery made by the Georgia Institute of Technology. They used the data collected by Voyager 2’s passing by Uranus.
Uranus Electromagnetic Field Turns On and Off
The new study published by Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that the magnetosphere of Uranus – which is defined by a planet’s magnetic field and the material trapped inside it – goes in an on and off state constantly as the planet rotates around its axis.
Uranus electromagnetic field is “open” in one direction, which allows the solar winds to flow into the magnetosphere; its “closed” in another direction, which forms a shield against the solar wind and deflects it away from the planet.
This is in contrast with the other planet we know, Earth, which has an “open” or “closed” magnetic field only pending on the changes in the solar wind. This is because Earth’s magnetic field is almost completely aligned with its spin axis.
However, Uranus’ magnetic field depends on Uranus’ position. Because Uranus lies on and rotates on its side, taking into account that it is off-centered and tilted 60° from its axis, its magnetic field is lopsided. And this leads to Uranus’ magnetic field to tumble asymmetrically relative to the direction of the solar winds.
And, in the words of Carol Paty, associate professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and coauthor of the study,
“Uranus is a geometric nightmare. When the magnetized solar wind meets this tumbling field in the right way, it can reconnect and Uranus’ magnetosphere goes from open to closed to open on a daily basis.”
However, based on Uranus’ magnetic field, scientists can further study to try to better understand the interplanetary magnetic relations and how the solar winds can affect or influence it.
Meta: At Georgia Institute of Technology, researchers have found that Uranus electromagnetic field, opposed to Earth’s one, turns “on” and “off” as it rotates.
Image Source: Wikipedia