General, Research, Technology

Could a cosmic collision form the Mercury that we see now?

In a published scientific journal NatureA geoscience article by astronomers from Arizona State University suggested that the planet Mercury, which we are used to seeing now, is the result of a colossal cosmic collision that occurred many billions of years ago. More specifically, scientists after conducting many observations, studies and creating several computer models have come to the conclusion that there is a high probability that Mercury owes its peculiar shape and structure to another cosmic body (approximately the size of the Earth) that it collided with.

MercuryOn the pages of the journal, scientists explain thatAccording to previous studies, the mass of the iron core of Mercury is approximately 65 percent of the total mass of the entire planet. This seemed very strange to scientists, especially against the background of the fact that the mass of the Earth’s core, Venus and the same Mars is only about 30 percent of their total mass. The information from the MESSENGER spacecraft launched to plow the space of our solar system in August 2004 added interest to this riddle. Observations of the apparatus showed that the crust of Mercury (connected to the mantle in one tectonic plate) contains traces of volatile chemical elements.

According to scientists, if many billions of years agothe planet was subjected to mass cosmic bombardment, as a result of which it lost most of its mantle, the presence of volatile chemical elements that the MESSENGER apparatus discovered should not be there now.

Gathering all the information together and analyzingseveral computer models, researchers Eric Asfaug from the University of Arizona and Andreas Refer from the University of Bern (Switzerland) are inclined to believe that they were able to solve this riddle.

Astronomers speculate that the current "anatomy"planets may be the result of a tangential proto-Mercury collision with other large cosmic bodies. These collisions forced Proto-Mercury to lose part of its mantle, but the planet was still able to save the remnants of volatile chemical elements.

"To explain the riddles of metals-richscientists of the composition of Mercury, Eric Asfaug and Andreas Refer of the University of Berne developed a new hypothesis according to which proto-Mercury at some point in its history lost part of its mantle as a result of a collision tangentially with a larger planet (possibly proto-Venus or even proto- Earth), ”according to a press release published on the Arizona State University website.

“One or even several collisions onwith a tangent, they could demolish part of its mantle from proto-Mercury without more catastrophic consequences, leaving most of its core untouched, leaving traces of volatile chemicals on it and eventually forming the planet that we see now. ”

Eric Asfaug and Andreas Refer believe that iftake into account the current form of Mercury, there could be two or even three such collisions. Scientists add that if their model really contains these facts, then the scientific community should have several questions that will definitely have to be answered.

For example, it is not yet clear where the bodies came from, withwhich Mercury collided with, and where they are now. It is also unclear how the heat generated as a result of these tangential collisions in the long-term perspective affected the further formation and final appearance of the planet.