Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Iron Richness Hints at Mercury's Violent Creation

Mercury in a false-color NASA image
Cosmic collisions reason why Mercury is a "freak" among solar system's rocky planets, scientists say. Planet has more iron than it should, they explain.
(Photo : NASA)

By Jim Algar, Tech Times

A giant "hit and run" impact with another planet billions of years in the past may explain the unexpected and mysterious internal makeup of Mercury, the solar system's closest planet to the sun, researchers say.

The mystery is that a small planet shouldn't have as much iron as has been observed on Mercury, they say. The Earth, Mars and Venus -- the solar system's other rocky worlds -- are about 30 percent iron.

So why is Mercury almost 60 percent iron?

The answer may be down to a particularly violent "childhood" in which Mercury was involved in a number of impacts that stripped away much of the materials other than iron that we would expect to see there, planetary scientists Erik Asphaug of the University of Arizona says in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

More - Link >>> http://www.techtimes.com/articles/9969/20140708/mercurys-rocky-childhood-one-reason-iron-richness.htm

Source: TechTimes.com .

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