The Honey Pot

Mercury surprises: tiny planet has strange innards and active past
Using observations from NASA’s Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury, researchers observed that the floors of many craters have been tilted substantially. Part of the floor of the Caloris basin has even been raised above its rim. This suggest that internal forces pushed the craters up after the impacts created them, providing strong evidence that Mercury remained geologically active long after its formation.
Researchers also estimated Mercury’s gravity field by precisely radio-tracking Messenger’s movements around the planet. From these estimates, they determined that Mercury has “mascons” (short for “mass concentrations”), which are large positive gravity anomalies associated with big impact basins.
The team’s gravity calculations also suggest that Mercury has an iron core that comprises roughly 85% of the planet’s radius. (For comparison, Earth’s iron core covers about half of its radius.) Further, it looks like a layer of solid iron sulfide overlies Mercury’s core — a feature not known to exist on any other terrestrial planet.
The new findings shed light on Mercury’s past, and on the formation and evolution of rocky planets in general. But they also serve to remind scientists that they’re in for many more surprises as they continue to probe the solar system’s many mysteries.
Above: Perspective view of ancient volcanic plains in the northern high latitudes of Mercury revealed by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft.

I really like the phrase “strange innards and active past”

Mercury surprises: tiny planet has strange innards and active past

Using observations from NASA’s Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury, researchers observed that the floors of many craters have been tilted substantially. Part of the floor of the Caloris basin has even been raised above its rim. This suggest that internal forces pushed the craters up after the impacts created them, providing strong evidence that Mercury remained geologically active long after its formation.

Researchers also estimated Mercury’s gravity field by precisely radio-tracking Messenger’s movements around the planet. From these estimates, they determined that Mercury has “mascons” (short for “mass concentrations”), which are large positive gravity anomalies associated with big impact basins.

The team’s gravity calculations also suggest that Mercury has an iron core that comprises roughly 85% of the planet’s radius. (For comparison, Earth’s iron core covers about half of its radius.) Further, it looks like a layer of solid iron sulfide overlies Mercury’s core — a feature not known to exist on any other terrestrial planet.

The new findings shed light on Mercury’s past, and on the formation and evolution of rocky planets in general. But they also serve to remind scientists that they’re in for many more surprises as they continue to probe the solar system’s many mysteries.

Above: Perspective view of ancient volcanic plains in the northern high latitudes of Mercury revealed by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft.

I really like the phrase “strange innards and active past”

(via invaderxan)

  1. the-freckled-runner reblogged this from melcrazychan
  2. thomarvelous reblogged this from apocentre
  3. summ3rloveallnightlong reblogged this from el-za
  4. trencherelf reblogged this from timemakesnomistakes
  5. thetardisstolemydoctor reblogged this from timemakesnomistakes
  6. punchmouth reblogged this from timemakesnomistakes
  7. xthesunandthemoon reblogged this from timemakesnomistakes
  8. timemakesnomistakes reblogged this from ladymrsexmeup
  9. genie-brown reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  10. marianamarga reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  11. free-your-mind-free-your-soul reblogged this from cherryanna
  12. cherryanna reblogged this from dylanbannister
  13. dylanbannister reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  14. fleurdumur reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  15. khthonic reblogged this from itsfullofstars
  16. the-beautifully-awkward reblogged this from musicmanph
  17. hapanese reblogged this from k8smash
  18. kaydeevonbee reblogged this from deeply-deeply-d0pe
  19. calebdenecutie reblogged this from calebdenecutie and added:
    caption and tags...this post were golden holy shit
  20. motherfck-er reblogged this from neve-r-too-late
  21. xxreiofsunshinexx reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  22. thelimetomytequila reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  23. jedi-jedi reblogged this from elicoptero
  24. happy-shaman reblogged this from dfsfgffd
  25. weknewitallalong reblogged this from calebdenecutie
  26. djxxt reblogged this from seductiveillusion
  27. candycoveredshit reblogged this from sonrisa-venen0sa
  28. starcatsfolly reblogged this from dduane
  29. basscat reblogged this from creaturecrawl
  30. chanfransisco reblogged this from unknownskywalker
  31. noblankpaper reblogged this from itsfullofstars
  32. rawryoutoo reblogged this from inmyownimagination
  33. horseofadifferentcolor reblogged this from slapdashhh and added:
    -1?'https':'http';var...
  34. whispering-ember reblogged this from jordynemilywilliams
blog comments powered by Disqus