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Viewings: 4708Mercury boasts unique to the Solar system surface, bearing the traces of a meteorite fall rare type.
The differences between the Northern plains and surrounding area. The top half of the mercury is the way it saw the MESSENGER, and the bottom for illustration is given in more saturated color.
It is no secret that to be the nearest to the Sun planet means a quite different history of development compared to other (here played a role and the heat from the star, and its power of attraction), but it turned out that mercury went from scientists much less attention than Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. Eight years ago, NASA has restored justice by sending a mercury probe MESSENGER, who became the first phone, published on its orbit.
The analysis submitted by the probe data showed that a significant part of the world (6%) covered with lava. If evenly distribute it for Chukotka Autonomous district, it will be buried under a layer of a thickness exceeding 6 km away (no, we don't want to fill up Chukotka, just Americans compare everything with its biggest after Alaska to Texas, the area of which slightly inferior CHAO).
Lava fields are common in the Solar system. For example, young Mars, once covered with streams of molten rock, today holds the largest volcano: the diameter of its Olympus - about 600 km, and height - 25 km. At the same time, 205 measurements of the composition of mercury's surface, made x-ray spectrometer probe MESSENGER, showed that this planet can be proud of.
Shoshana Vader at the Carnegie Institution (USA) and her colleagues came to the conclusion that the surface of mercury is composed mainly mineral-rich in magnesium and sulfur. This is similar to the structure of partially molten enstatite chondrites is a rare type of meteorites formed in conditions of high temperatures and lack of oxygen in the inner Solar system. Probably, and mercury was formed by the accretion of material, something similar to enstatite the chondrites, or predecessors enstatite chondrites and mercury have common ancestors.
Scientists noticed also in the area surrounding the Northern volcanic plains. They are especially riddled with craters, indicating their advanced age. This seasoned area has a higher ratio of magnesium to the silicon, sulphur to silicon and calcium to the silicon compared with the Northern plains, but a lower ratio of aluminium to the silicon. This suggests that the smooth plains native of chemically different magmatic sources in comparison with the older areas.
Apparently, volcanic activity, which created the Northern plains, was the result of melting another part of the mantle of mercury, also at lower temperatures and at a later stage in the history of the planet. It is believed that these plains of about 500 million years younger than the surrounding areas.
The results of the study will be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets.
Based on the materials Space.Com.
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