Understand its iron core and the magnetism of the sun

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A gradient exists where the iron core metal content of the planet decreases as each planet moves away from the Sun. The article explains how the phenomenon occurred by showing the distributions of raw materials during the early days of the solar system when the Sun’s magnetic field controlled formation.

A recent study challenges the prevailing assumption about why Mercury has a larger core compared to the planet’s mantle. Scientists for decades have argued that hit-and-run collisions with other celestial bodies during the early days of the solar system blew up much of Mercury’s rocky mantle, leaving only its large, dense metallic core. . However, new research reveals that the collisions aren’t as much to blame as the Sun’s magnetism

Mercury explained

Mercury, the closest planet to the sun and the smallest planet in the solar system, is only slightly larger than Earth’s moon. From its surface, the sun appears to be three times larger than how it is seen on Earth with sunlight radiating seven times brighter.

Contrary to popular belief and its proximity to the sun, Mercury is not the hottest planet in the solar system. This title rightfully belongs to Venus, mainly due to its dense atmosphere.

According to NASA, a day on Mercury takes about 59 Earth days. Where the planet completes one orbit around the Sun in 88 Earth days. Compared to Earth, Mercury has a thin atmosphere composed mostly of oxygen, sodium, helium, hydrogen, and potassium.

An interesting fact about Mercury is that it has no satellites or moons. No evidence of life has ever been observed on the planet whose daytime temperatures can reach 430 degrees Celsius and drop to 180 degrees Celsius below 0.

Understand Mercury’s iron core and how the sun’s magnetism has affected it

William McDonough, lead author and professor of geology at the University of Maryland, Takeshi Yoshizaki of Tohoku University developed a model of the density, mass, and iron content of the rocky planet’s core that was influenced by the distance between the planet and the magnetic field of the sun. field.

The article published in the journal Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, titled “Terrestrial planetary compositions controlled by the magnetic field of the accretion disk”, describes how the model challenges the conventional assumption about the composition of the mantle and the core. of Mercury.

McDonough explains that the four inner planets of the solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – are made up of varying proportions of rock and metal. A gradient exists where the metal content of the planet’s core decreases as each planet moves away from the Sun. The article explains how the phenomenon occurred by showing the distributions of raw materials during the early days of the solar system when the Sun’s magnetic field controlled formation.

The model shows how during the early days of the solar system, when the young sun was engulfed in swirling clouds of gas and dust, grains of iron were pulled into the sun’s magnetic field. As planets began to form from the clumps of dust and gas, planets closer to the sun began to incorporate more iron into their respective cores than those that formed farther away.

Originally published in The science times

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