Planetary and Stellar Dynamos

Stellar and planetary magnetic fields, including the best known geomagnetic field, are among the most notable properties of stars and planets and play a crucial part in a variety of cosmic processes.

The established theory of the nature of these magnetic fields field is that they are generated by a dynamo process driven by convection in the fluid regions of planets and stars. These regions are inaccessible for direct observations, e.g. the Earth's fluid outer core where the geomagnetic field is generated is located at some 2,800km below the surface of the planet.

Self-consistent numerical models are thus one of the very few methods available to obtain key insights into the convection-driven dynamo process as well as into a myriad of other aspects of stellar and planetary structure and dynamics where many questions still remain open.