Mercury is defined by a very old magnetic field, researchers from NASA reveal, after analyzing the results of a mapped gravitational field. Scientists are working on further research to reveal some other good chunks of novelty, as there are other facts, still unknown about Mercury that defy a clear explanation now.
The magnetic field of Mercury is as old as 4 million years. Astronomers comment that Mercury’s magnetic field might have been as strong as ours, but its intensity has increased dramatically, due to environmental changes.
Also, Mercury could have an outer core that is liquid. Data shows that the core of the planet is thicker and the poles are thinner, facts that helped scientists reach to the conclusion of its liquid outer core.
NASA space mission over Mercury is now concentrated on debriefing the facts shown in the mapping process so we are waiting for further info to be unveiled. The discoveries were made on Sunday, when Messenger plunged on the planet’s surface with an 8.700 mph velocity.
Up until this moment we know that the core of Mercury is a very large one and it gathers 85% of the radius present inside the planet, a lot more than the radius of the earth. These findings helped experts discover the structure of Mercury’s layer, consisting of liquid iron sulphide that lies beneath its crust. This particular piece of information makes this planet very different from the other ones.
The magnetic signals registered by NASA astronomers are however very low, they can barely be detected and analyzed by the experts. Mapping has allowed closer analysis and factual discovery on the planet’s structure and composition.
Caloris is the largest impact basin of Mercury and some interesting findings have been revealed in this area too. This is in fact one of the largest solar craters in the solar system ever to be seen by the human eye. It has more than 932 miles in width and it is higher compared to the edges. This lead to the conclusion that Mercury went through some significant topographic changes, probably caused by tectonic forces. The space mission will do further research on this matter, to gather more consistent and undebatable data.
NASA’s mission on Mercury has accomplished its tasks with success. Ever since 2011, scientists have contributed with revealing facts about the small planet. Still, there is a lot more to be discovered once the team of researchers gets to align the pieces of the Mercury puzzle.
Science Express will publish all the known facts about Mercury and soon we will all be able to browse the information in digital format.
Image Source: mhsgeog.wikispaces.com