The magnetic field of the planet isunique matter, which with the help of special electric charges creates a special zone that protects the planet from harmful cosmic radiation. According to the portal newsweek.com, the Moon completely lost its magnetic field as a result of crystallization of the core of our satellite about one billion years ago, thereby losing any protection from the solar wind. But what exactly caused the emergence of such a process and can it be explained with the help of science?
Did the moon have a magnetic field?
A group of scientists led by Said Migani ofThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been studying the magnetic field of the moon for several years. It is believed that our natural satellite formed about 4.5 billion years ago after a powerful collision of the Earth with an object the size of Mars. The debris from such a collision was eventually pulled together by gravitational forces, eventually forming a sphere that we can see in the sky in the present day. Initially, the Moon was much closer to Earth than it is now. Over time, the satellite moved away, continuing to move away from our planet at a speed of several centimeters per year, and although it initially had a strong magnetic field, it gradually completely disappeared.
See also: What happens if the Earth’s magnetic field disappears?
In previous studies, scientists foundthat about four billion years ago, the moon’s magnetic field was almost twice as powerful as the Earth’s, which was determined by studying samples of lunar rocks ejected during volcanic eruptions. When the stones cooled and hardened, tiny grains lined up along the lines of the magnetic field, fixing their direction. When three billion years ago, volcanic activity completely ceased, the consequences of such a cosmic cataclysm were not long in coming, reducing the strength of the satellite’s magnetic field to minimal values.
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According to experts, because of theirrelatively small in size, the Moon would sooner or later lose its space protection in any case. At the same time, what is surprising in this situation is that the satellite’s internal dynamo has been operating for at least 2 billion years - a good period for a lightweight object. So, although the planet Mars boasts twice the diameter, it is widely believed that the Martian magnetic field died about four billion years ago. Such a conclusion may indicate the presence in the distant past of our satellite of a long-lived source of energy. In addition, being at a close distance from the Earth, the liquid in the core of the moon was subject to the constant influence of the gravitational forces of our planet, accelerating to the speeds necessary to create a strong magnetic field.
As the moon moved farther away fromEarth, a similar effect gradually weakened, giving way to a process called crystallization of the nucleus. When the satellite’s core crystallized completely, the inner dynamo of the moon stopped, and it turned into a light gray lifeless ball, blown from all sides by the solar wind.