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Messenger discovered that the planet Hema is contracting

An extraordinary number - 11 articles - were devoted this weekend in the journal Science to the discoveries made during the passage of Messenger near the planet in January of this year. Volcanic chimneys were discovered on the sides of a large crater, and that the craters are flatter than their lunar counterparts

Calvaris crater on the planet Mercury, as photographed by the Messenger spacecraft in January 2008
Calvaris crater on the planet Mercury, as photographed by the Messenger spacecraft in January 2008

Scientists have argued among themselves about the origin of the smooth planes of the planet Mercury and the origin of the planet's magnetic field for over 30 years. Now analysis of data from the Mercury Messenger flyby in January 2008 showed that volcanoes were involved in the formation of these plains and suggested that the magnetic field was actively generated in the planet's core.

The scientists also observed for the first time the chemical composition of the surface of the planet Mercury. The tiny spacecraft probed the composition of Mercury's thin atmosphere, sampled ionized particles near the planet, and demonstrated the connections between the two series of observations and homers on the surface. The results were published in a series of 11 papers in a special issue of the journal Science on Friday, July 4.

More on the science website:

The debate about the origin of the flat plains on the planet Mercury began with the Apollo 16 mission to the moon in 1972. The data collected by the astronauts showed that lunar plains come from materials ejected from large meteorite impacts and created smooth "pools". When Mariner 10 photographed similar formations on the planet Mercury in 1975, some scientists believed that a similar process was occurring there as well. Others have argued that the material that formed the flat plains originated from lava, but due to the absence of volcanic chimneys or other volcanic formations in the images from this mission, it was impossible to decide the question.

Six of the papers in Science deal with the analysis of the planet's surface using its light reflectance and color variation, surface chemistry, high-resolution photographs at different wavelengths, and height measurements. The researchers found evidence of volcanic vents along the rim of Caloris Basin, one of the youngest impact craters in the Solar System. They also found that Caloris has a much more complicated geological history than previously thought. Altimeter data from all the spacecraft that visited Mercury also found that the craters on the planet are on average half as shallow as those on the Moon. These measurements also proved that the geological history of Mercury is complex.

The core of Mercury occupies about 60% of its mass, twice that of the other terrestrial planets. The approach flight revealed that the magnetic field created in the outer part of the core and driven by the cooling of the core, causes dynamic and complex interactions between the interior of the planet, its surface, the exosphere and the magnetosphere.

Commenting on the importance of the core to the geological structures on the surface, MESSENGER's principal investigator, Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, says: "The dominant tectonic influence on the planet Hema, including areas photographed for the first time by MESSENGER, are formations known as lobate scarps - Huge cliffs that mark the heads of defects in the planet's crust that are formed during the contraction of the areas surrounding them. They tell us how important the core ceiling was to the evolution of the surface. After the end of the great bombardment period at the beginning of the days of the solar system, the cooling of the planets started the magnetic dynamo, causing the entire planet to contract. The data from the approach flight also indicate that the rate of contraction is at least a third greater than what we believed so far."

The flyby also provided the first observation of the ionized particles in the unique exosphere of the planet Hema. The exosphere is an extremely thin atmosphere where the molecules are so far apart that they are more likely to collide with the surface than with each other. The planet Hema has an extremely elliptical orbit, and it slows down the rate of its rotation and the interactions of the particles with the magnetosphere, the interstellar medium and with the solar wind. This result causes seasonal differences and the difference between day and night in the way the particles behave.

For information on the NASA website

9 תגובות

  1. What nonsense stars are shrinking you might as well say the earth is shrinking
    It doesn't make sense at all it's layers of rocky soil and rocks don't shrink that's enough proof for the messenger

  2. Yehuda Sabdarmish
    I really don't understand your objection to the idea in the article. You don't assume that a warm planet has always been there. After all, at some point it was created. Before it was hot, the matter was in a different state, perhaps a ring of asteroids around the sun, for example. In the process that took S.G. About a billion years (more or less) the material crystallized into a planet. In this process, the material was compressed, contracted and heated, after which it began to cool, which indicates that at a certain stage the rate of contraction decreased and decreased, to the point where it may have stopped completely. With the cooling, the planet's magnetic field, originating (probably) in the iron core, began to build and form.

  3. I didn't quite understand how Microsoft's software discovered something about the planet Hema?
    Only Linux!!!

  4. א
    Such complexes were already predicted by Freud 100 years before. The dark matter, the dark energy and the black hole are actually the clear expression of the power of the subconscious in the solar system. Only now are we remembering to treat the problem, there is a need for experts to treat the stars that suffer from the syndrome.

  5. Yehuda,
    As you know all planets are regularly affected by massive presence of dark matter. The dark matter in combination with radiation emitted from a black hole which is apparently located at the edge of the solar system (and NASA is not interested in admitting that it exists), causes the star Hema to shrink, and the latest studies speak of a certain sense of failure that the star suffers from, and in my opinion it is simply a size complex.

    Good Day,

  6. I still don't understand, does it mean that the star that cooled, shrank due to this?, so what does it matter if it is magnetic or not?

    Not important
    Good Day
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  7. Yehuda, to your question:

    "After the end of the great bombardment period at the beginning of the Solar System, the cooling of the planets set off the magnetic dynamo, causing the entire planet to contract."

    In my opinion, the right question to ask is, does the contraction continue even today and at what rate?

  8. I don't understand where they got the blown headline that the planet Hema is shrinking. There is no reason in the world for this to happen.
    The title in the original article only talks about discoveries in the study of the planet Hema.

    good week
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

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