Mars Pathfinder Magnetic Properties Experiment


The Mars Pathfinder Magnetic Properties Experiment primarily involves an array of permanent magnets on the lander. The magnets are assembled to produce a bullseye pattern of attracted dust using an outer annular ring magnet, 18 mm in diameter, surrounding a central cylindrical magnet. In each of two magnet arrays five such magnets of progressively increasing strength (from left to right below) are mounted in magnesium blocks. An increase in magnetic dust deposition from Sol 10 to Sol 66 is clearly evident in the composite image below. By analyzing the patterns of dust on the various magnets, scientists are able to measure the dust's magnetic strength and infer its composition. [Image of Mars Pathfinder Magnet Experiment]


Earlier results

[Image of Mars Pathfinder Magnet Experiment] [Image of Mars Pathfinder Magnet Experiment]

These magnets are intended to attract any magnetic particles in the windborne dust. The top picture shows a lower magnet array on sol 6 (top) and on sol 13 (bottom). The lower picture shows the upper magnet array on sol 26. Dust has clearly accumulated on the two strongest magnets on the right with time, and can be seen on the center magnet in the bottom image.


* Detailed information on the Magnetic Properties Experiment
* Mars Pathfinder Preliminary Science Results
* Mars Pathfinder home page at NSSDC

Questions and comments about this page should be addressed to:
Dr. David R. Williams, dwilliam@nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov, (301) 286-1258
NSSDC, Mail Code 633, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
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NASA Official: J. H. King, king@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov
Last Updated: 18 December 2001, DRW