Study: Earth-like planets might have magnetic fields

11/26/2012 |

The extreme pressures within supersized versions of Earth could help develop magnetic fields that would protect life from radiation by developing magnesium oxide and transforming it into liquid metal, according to a study in the journal Science. "Our results show that the usual assumption that planetary magnetic fields originate exclusively in iron cores is too limiting. Magnetic fields might also form within planetary mantles," said R. Stewart McWilliams, lead author and a geophysicist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

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