Although the MAG can detect some of the effects of the solar wind on the outer planets and moons, its primary job is to measure changes in the Sun's magnetic field with distance and time, to determine if each of the outer planets has a magnetic field, and how the moons and rings of the outer planets interact with those magnetic fields.
Magnetometer (MAG) Objective
- Measure and analytically represent the planetary magnetic fields of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
- Determine the magnetosphere structure of all the giant planets encountered. Investigate the basic physical mechanisms and processes involved both in interactions between the solar wind and the magentosphere and in internal magnetospheric dynamics, in correlative studies with other particles and fields investigations.
- Investigate the interactions of the satellites of these planets with their magnetosphere/solar wind environments.
- Accurately survey the interplanetary magnetic field beyond 1 AU and continue and extend studies of large-scale characteristics of the interplanetary medium.
- Continue and extend studies of the physics of microscale phenomena in the solar wind.
- Search for the transition region between the interplanetary and interstellar media, and if possible, investigate the magnetic characteristics of the boundary region and measure the galactic magnetic field and its variations.