The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do magnets change in space?  (Read 1242 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Do magnets change in space?
« on: 26/10/2014 08:30:01 »
Gary Margolis asked the Naked Scientists:
   Do permanent magnets' alignment change when removed from our planet, say in outer space or on the moon?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/10/2014 08:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4729
  • Thanked: 156 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Do magnets change in space?
« Reply #1 on: 26/10/2014 12:42:04 »
No. Electric motors work the same in space as they do on earth: the magnets are unaffected by a lack of air or gravity, but there are major problems of heat dissipation and the evaporation or polymerisation of lubricants, so you need to derate the motor considerably for extended space work. As they say, rocket science is trivial, but rocket engineering is very difficult indeed!

A magnetic compass isn't much use on other planets, though. You need an iron core in the planet to generate a single dominant field.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4131
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
Re: Do magnets change in space?
« Reply #2 on: 26/10/2014 18:21:35 »
You also need to be careful with the temperature of permanent magnets. If they get above their Curie temperature (due to long-term direct exposure to the Sun, for example), they lose their original magnetisation.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Do magnets change in space?
« Reply #3 on: 26/10/2014 19:30:03 »
As far as poles, Earth's North/South direction is not universal.

In fact, on the sun, the North/South poles reverse about once a decade. 

Each planet would have its own polarity which may be either weak or strong. 

The area just along the outer edge of our solar system has been described as magnetic froth or bubbles.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Do magnets change in space?
« Reply #3 on: 26/10/2014 19:30:03 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums