Magnetic Field of the Psyche Spacecraft Immersed in the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)

January 24, 2023
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This visual reveals how the magnetic field associated with the Psyche spacecraft distorts the ambient magnetic field to be measured.

Here, the ambient field is represented by a weak interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) carried by the solar wind with a strength of 5nT in the vicinity of the asteroid.

Magnetic fields are shown bending around a computer model of the Psyche spacraft. Intense areas of magnetic energy on the spacecraft body are marked in red.
Magnetic field lines in red indicate higher field strengths. Blue indicates lower strengths.

The ambient magnetic field will be measured by two sensors, mounted at different distances along the boom, so the contaminant magnetic field of the spacecraft can be estimated and removed. This will help the Psyche Magnetometer team determine the internal properties and composition of the Psyche asteroid.

NASA’s Psyche team will measure the asteroid’s magnetic field using a magnetometer. This instrument is composed of two identical high-sensitivity magnetic field sensors located at the middle and outer end of a 6-foot (2-meter) boom on the spacecraft.