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No. 71: Sep-Oct 1990

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"Planetary exploration by deep space probes in recent years has shown that the dipole moment of some mag netized planets has a surprisingly large inclination angle with respect to the rotation axis. It is argued that the inclined dipole thus obtained may not be physically realistic. Applying the method we have developed for the source surface magnetic field of the sun (a spherical surface of 2.5 solar radii), it is suggested that the main dipole of the earth and the magnetized planets is actually axial (the magnetic moment is parallel or antiparallel to the rotation axis), and that two or three smaller dipoles near the core surface are responsible for the apparent inclination of the main dipole." (Akasofu, S-I., and Saito, T.; "Is the Earth"s Dipole Actually Inclined with Respect to Its Rotation Axis?" Eos, 71: 490, 1990.)

Comment. In SF#70, we see that the magnetic field of Uranus is inclined a whopping 60 to its axis of rotation. Can a few, small additional dipoles distort the main field so much? And just what are these small dipoles anyway -- physically and electrically?

From Science Frontiers #71, SEP-OCT 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987