The origin of Mercury

Benz, W. and Anic, A. and Horner, J. and Whitby, J. A. (2008) The origin of Mercury. In: Mercury. Space Sciences Series of ISSI (26). Springer, New York, NY. United States, pp. 7-20. ISBN 978-0-387-77538-8


Mercury's unusually high mean density has always been attributed to special circumstances that occurred during the formation of the planet or shortly thereafter, and due to the planet's close proximity to the Sun. The nature of these special circumstances is still being debated and several scenarios, all proposed more than 20 years ago, have been suggested. In all scenarios, the high mean density is the result of severe fractionation occurring between silicates and iron. It is the origin of this fractionation that is at the centre of the debate: is it due to differences in condensation temperature and/or in material characteristics (e.g. density, strength)? Is it because of mantle evaporation due to the close proximity to the Sun? Or is it due to the blasting off of the mantle during a giant impact?

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, BV. Previously published in Space Science Reviews v132(2-4), 2007. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without the written permission from the Publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2014 23:45
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 00:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mercury; origin of planets; formation
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020108 Planetary Science (excl. Extraterrestrial Geology)
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020101 Astrobiology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences

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