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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Is it true the Mercury has shrunk?

Detailed map of the cliffs and trenches of Mercury showed that the innermost and smallest planet in the solar system that has lost more because of the cooling section for four billion years, according to a study in the Nature Geoscience journal.

Mercury has an iron core cooling peeling around nine miles in diameter of the planet, more than twice as much as previously forecast. "When you look at the actual number, this is really very small compared to the size of the planet., But it's not likely to cause a problem," said Paul Byrne, a planetary scientist from the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution.
One of the images sent from the second flight of NASA's Messenger spacecraft while across the Mercury. (Picture from: http://www.thealmagest.com/)
The scientists studied more than 5,900 the features of surface, including steep slopes and cliffs similar wrinkle mountains to calculate how much Mercury is shrinking. Unlike Earth, which as some of crustal plates, Mercury only have one layer of rigid rocky with cliffs and ravines formed by the global contraction.

Measurements were performed using Messenger, a Mercury orbiter of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), adjusted to estimate the computer modeling used by scientists to determine the composition of the inside, and the chemical structure of the planet. "The processes are very much driven by heat loss - the main thing that led to the evolution of the planet," Byrne said as quoted by Reuters.
An artist's concept shows the Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury. (Picture from: http://www.cbsnews.com/)
"We did not design validating the model, but the result is exactly the same figure shows the estimates using the model for 40 years," he said. Map of Mercury's surface previously made the mid-1970s. NASA Mariner aircraft three times past the image of the planet and makes about 45 percent of the surface.

The data indicate that Mercury lost 1.2 to three miles in diameter, a finding that conflicts with heat dissipation model of planetary scientists. The discovery of the impact on the assessment of the composition of planets outside the solar system. "Maybe Mercury is an archetypal example of what is happening on the planet and how periakunya current cooling period," said Byrne. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS]
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