EGU22-8509, updated on 09 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

BepiColombo at Mercury: First close-in magnetic field measurements from the southern hemisphere

Daniel Heyner1, Chris Carr2, Uli Auster1, Ingo Richter1, Patrick Kolhey1, Willi Exner1, Johannes Mieth1, Ferdinand Plaschke1, Kristin Pump1, Johannes Wicht3, Benoit Langlais4, Gerhard Berghofer5, Daniel Schmid5, Wolfgang Baumjohann5, David Fischer5, Timothy Horbury2, Werner Magnes5, Adam Masters2, Jim Slavin6, Karl-Heinz Glassmeier1, and the MPO-MAG Team*
Daniel Heyner et al.
  • 1TU Braunschweig, Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Braunschweig, Germany (
  • 2Imperial College, London, UK
  • 3Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany
  • 4LPG, Nantes, France
  • 5IWF, Graz, Austria
  • 6University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The internal magnetic field of Mercury is best described by a northward offset dipole with almost zero obliquity. Its offset, weakness, axisymmetry and lack of secular variation still poses a challenge to dynamo theory. After NASA’s Mariner 10 flybys in the 1970’s and MESSENGER’s orbital mission in 2011-2015, BepiColombo performed a flyby at Mercury in October 2021. For the first time, magnetic field measurements are obtained from the southern hemisphere by the fluxgate magnetometer MPO-MAG. We will present an overview of the flyby data and compare the new in-situ data to magnetospheric models obtained from the previous missions to the innermost terrestrial planet. Does the flyby data reveal any secular variation? Has the dipole offset changed? These are some of the questions we will discuss with this unprecedented magnetometer data. We will close with a discussion on what is to be expected from the orbital phase of BepiColombo. 


Anderson, Dougherty, Mandea, Matsushima, Oliveira, Vennerstrom, Vogt, Zhang

How to cite: Heyner, D., Carr, C., Auster, U., Richter, I., Kolhey, P., Exner, W., Mieth, J., Plaschke, F., Pump, K., Wicht, J., Langlais, B., Berghofer, G., Schmid, D., Baumjohann, W., Fischer, D., Horbury, T., Magnes, W., Masters, A., Slavin, J., and Glassmeier, K.-H. and the MPO-MAG Team: BepiColombo at Mercury: First close-in magnetic field measurements from the southern hemisphere, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8509,, 2022.