Special Department Lecture - Kimberly Moore [Caltech]

Kimberly Moore [Caltech]
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Virtual via Zoom

Title:Time-variation of the magnetic fields of Jupiter and Saturn


Magnetic fields can provide important constraints on a planet’s interior structure and dynamics. In particular, the time-variation of a planet’s internally generated (dynamo) magnetic field can shed light on aspects of fluid motion such as atmospheric dynamics and the existence of stably stratified (non-convective) regions. Earth’s time-varying magnetic field can be readily observed from the long history of satellite, ground-based observatory, and paleomagnetic records. But although searching for time-variation at planets beyond Earth has proved challenging due to the small number of spacecraft missions flown to-date, data from recent missions such as Juno and Cassini may finally make such detections possible. In this talk, I will compare our understanding of Jupiter and Saturn’s magnetic fields. This work has important implications for understanding these planets’ interior structure, dynamics, and evolution. Our findings will also provide ground truth context for the growing database of exoplanetary magnetic field measurements over the coming decade.

About this Series:

Weekly talks given by leading thinkers in the areas of geology, geophysics, geobiology, geochemistry, atmospheric science, oceanography, climatology, and planetary science. Lectures take place on Wednesdays from 4pm EST unless otherwise noted. For more information please contact: Maggie Cedarstrom, maggie84@mit.edu.