How Mercury, whose core is much larger than expected, formed: Scientists find the answer

Astronomers have found possible explanations for how the closest planet to the Sun formed.

The models that scientists created for the formation of the solar system mainly explain the features of this process. However, these models still cannot determine the formation process of terrestrial planets and especially Mercury. A new study suggests that more attention should be paid to the solar system’s giant planets to understand the evolution of much smaller planets.

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Of all the rocky planets in the inner solar system, Mercury is the strangest planet. First, Earth has the smallest mass compared to Mars and Venus. Second, Mercury has a very large core compared to its small size. Therefore, problems arise when modeling the evolution of planets in the solar system, because scientists do not understand how such a nucleus could have arisen if the planet itself did not grow to such large sizes. As part of a new study, a team of astronomers created a new model for the formation of the solar system and explored several possible explanations for Mercury’s strange features.

According to current ideas about the formation of the solar system, billions of years ago our Sun was surrounded by a protoplanetary disk of gas and dust. Over time, larger chunks of space rock emerged and coalesced into larger objects called planetary objects. The latter collided with each other and merged, resulting in the emergence of planets.

Scientists believe that very little matter was initially concentrated inside the protoplanetary disk, that is, in the region closer to the Sun. On the other hand, giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn and others were originally much closer to the Sun than they are now. Over time they were moved to their current orbit. During this movement, the giant planets contributed to further destabilization of the protoplanetary disk, which could lead to the removal of even more matter from its interior.

Scientists have suggested that in a new model of the formation of the solar system, there were originally many planetary planets in the interior of the protoplanetary disk. And indeed, as the simulation shows, the giant planets took with them during the migration a lot of material for the construction of planets from the interior of the protoplanetary disk. The remaining objects continued to collide frequently, causing a large amount of heavy metal to fall on the planet closest to the Sun. Thus, the gigantic core of Mercury appeared.

If the model showed that the core of this planet was large, it turned out to be more difficult to determine the mass of the planet. According to the martyrs, the model showed that with such a development of events, Mercury should have been 2-4 times larger than it actually was.

Therefore, the problem of discrepancy between the size and overall size of the core and planet is still open. Astronomers believe we need to take a closer look at the potential chemical properties of the protoplanetary disk. It’s also possible that matter near the Sun didn’t accumulate well enough to form a larger planet than Mercury currently is.

Focus He had already written that astronomers had made one of the most important discoveries concerning Jupiter. They learned that this planet has more moons eventually discovered.

same Focus He wrote that scientists believe there are pieces of Mercury on Earth. According to researchers, Mercury was once at least twice its current size.

Source: Focus


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