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Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

Lazio, Joseph and Shkolnik, Evgenya and Hallinan, Gregg (2016) Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability. . (Unpublished)

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Soon after its detection, radio emission from Jupiter was quickly identified as a product of its planetary-scale magnetic field. Subsequent spacecraft investigations have revealed that many of the planets—and even some moons—either currently have or have had in the past a planetaryscale magnetic field. Generated by dynamo processes within the planet, planetary-scale magnetic fields provide a means of constraining the properties of a planet’s interior through remote sensing, and it may even be possible to measure the magnetic fields of extrasolar planets. If so, they will offer one of the few means available of understanding the potential diversity of planetary interiors. In the case of our own planet, the presence of Earth’s magnetic field has long been suspected to be partially responsible for its habitability. Thus, knowledge of the magnetic field of an extrasolar planet may be a valuable component to assess its habitability, or to understand an absence of life on an otherwise potentially habitable planet. This report summarizes the investigations and conclusions from a William M. Keck Institute for Space Studies on planetary magnetic fields.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Shkolnik, Evgenya0000-0002-7260-5821
Hallinan, Gregg0000-0002-7083-4049
Additional Information:The production of this report benefited from the contributions of multiple people. In particular, significant contributions were made by Hao Cao, Peter Driscoll, William Farrell, Kevin France, Jean-Mathias Griessmeier, Renyu Hu, Thomas Kuiper, Leslie Rogers, Dave Stevenson, Aline Vidotto, Jackie Villadsen, Michael Werner, Wesley Traub, and Philippe Zarka. The entire Study program would not have been possible without the generous support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We thank Michele Judd, Tom Prince, and the staff of the W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies for their hospitality and attention to detail, such that the Study participants could turn their attention to focused discussions and innovative ideas. We also thank Charles (“Chuck”) Carter of Eagre Games, Inc., for his assistance with graphics. E. S. acknowledges supported by NASA Origins of the Solar System grant NNX13AH79G. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190211-065436334
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92812
Deposited By: Iryna Chatila
Deposited On:12 Feb 2019 22:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:48

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