A new concept of plasma motion and planetary magnetic field for Venus

William C. Knudsen, Peter M. Banks, K. L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We show that the magnetohydrodynamic conditions of the Venus ionosphere near the terminator favor convection of magnetic field rather than diffusion. Consequently, any planetary magnetic field which Venus may possess will be strongly affected by the global antisunward flow of the ionosphere which has been revealed by the Pioneer‐Venus retarding potential analyzer. The magnetic flux from an internal magnetic field will accumulate in the night hemisphere. Details of the structure and dynamics of such accumulations depend on particular details of the magnetic field source and the time‐dependent plasma flow pattern, but a simple interpretation of observational data yields a magnetic dipole moment of 7 × 1020 G cm³ directed along the planet spin vector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-768
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1982


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