Mercury and the Earth have almost the same average density, although Mercury's core is substantially bigger in comparison to the body's size. Excellent job! You just learned 41 new words! Learn mode will help you improve your study skills. You may be interested in...
While both are terrestrial in character, Mercury is much smaller and less massive than Earth, while having a similar density. Mercury's composition is likewise far more metallic than that of Earth, and its 3:12 orbital resonance causes a single day to be twice as long as a year.
These similarities cause problems for Mercury's environment because many features of Earth's surface are also found on Mercury, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and tectonic plates. In fact, most planets in the Solar System share common characteristics because they all largely result from collisions between other objects. However, because Mercury has no significant atmosphere or ocean, these features must be caused by gravitational effects instead.
For example, the same forces that create mountains on Earth can produce volcanic activity on Mercury. The impact that created the Moon may have also created a volcanic hotspot on Mercury that has yet to cool down. The results would be some regions that look like Olympus Mons on Mercury, another large volcano that has risen above the surface over time through plate tectonics.
Earth's oceans cover 70% of her surface area, but they account for almost all of our planet's unique chemical elements. Because Mercury lacks an atmosphere, it has been completely vaporized by the Sun, leaving only the core, which is mostly iron with a small fraction of nickel and zinc.
Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have discovered evidence suggesting Mercury's inner core is solid and about the same size as Earth's inner core in a new research. The finding was made using data from NASA's Magnetospheric Orbiter (MSP). MSP collected the first global map of mercury's magnetic field.
Mercury has no atmosphere to protect it from solar wind particles that charge up its surface, so it gets bombarded by electrons from outside sources. These electrons cause volcanoes on Mercury's surface to emit gases such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen chloride into space. Scientists think this is how life as we know it could have started on Mercury, since these gases are important ingredients in organic molecules.
In addition to Earth's iron core, Mercury has a liquid iron center that makes up 98% of its mass. Because of its similarity to Earth, scientists think the cores of Mercury and Earth formed around the same time through an internal process called "differentiation." As a planet forms, its outer layer becomes more dense than its interior, causing the planet to become larger at the expense of its inner contents. This occurs when a planet loses most of its initial gas envelope during formation leaving a rocky core behind.
Mercury has a huge liquid metal core surrounded by a silica mantle and a solid outer crust.
The mantle is mainly magnesium oxide with some silicon dioxide and traces of other elements. The surface is covered by a thin layer of mercury above an iron core.
Magnesium and oxygen are the most abundant elements in the solar system. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that these two elements make up more than half of Mercury's mass. However, because magnesium oxide is white and odorless, it isn't easy to find on Earth, where it is usually used for making paints and ceramics.
The only way to discover Mercury's internal structure is through close-up images from space. Since 1950, several spacecraft have flown by or landed on Mercury, allowing scientists to learn more about its composition and dynamics.
Earth also has a metallic core but it is much smaller than Mercury's. On the other hand, Venus' atmosphere is almost 100 times thicker than Earth's, but it is made out of carbon dioxide instead of nitrogen and oxygen. Thus, the surface environment of this planet depends largely on which direction you look at it from.