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Magnetic Fields of Uranus and Neptune: Metallic Fluid Hydrogen

By SpaceRef Editor
March 28, 2015
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Magnetic Fields of Uranus and Neptune: Metallic Fluid Hydrogen

W. J. Nellis (Submitted on 3 Mar 2015)

The magnetic fields of the Ice Giant Planets Uranus and Neptune (U/N) are unique in the solar system. Based on a substantial database measured on Earth for representative planetary fluids at representative dynamic pressures up to 200 GPa (2 Mbar) and a few 1000 K, the complex magnetic fields of U/N are (i) probably made primarily by degenerate metallic fluid H (MFH) at or near the crossover from the H-He envelopes to Ice cores at ~100 GPa (Mbar) pressures and normalized radii of ~90% of the radii of U/N; (ii) because those magnetic fields are made relatively close to the surfaces of U/N, non-dipolar fields can be expected; (iii) the Ice cores are most probably a heterogeneous fluid mixture of H, N, O, C, Fe/Ni and silicate-oxides and their mutual reaction products at high pressures and temperatures; (iv) the shapes of the magnetic fields are probably caused by weak coupling between rotational motions of U/N and convective motions of conducting fluids in dynamos that make those magnetic fields. Ironically, there is probably little nebular Ice in the Ice Giant Planets.

Comments: 10 pages

Subjects: Materials Science (cond-mat.mtrl-sci); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1503.01042 [cond-mat.mtrl-sci] (or arXiv:1503.01042v1 [cond-mat.mtrl-sci] for this version)

Submission history

From: William Nellis  

[v1] Tue, 3 Mar 2015 18:27:19 GMT (144kb)

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