Comment ME Re: If only


Planet Mercury is Slowly Shrinking


If only (Score: 2)

by on 2014-03-17 12:57 (#M8)

unravelling the pre-plate tectonic (>2-3 Ga) and plate tectonic (

Re: If only (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2014-03-17 15:32 (#MB)

Interesting, I didn't know any of this stuff. Relevant clip:

"Mercury, on the other hand, has only one solid shell for a crust, rather than Earth's many plates that shift about. As Mercury's molten iron core has cooled over the billions of years since the planet formed, it has contracted and the shell of rock surrounding it has cracked and shifted to accommodate the smaller size. Today, the signs of those changes are written all over the face of Mercury. "Some of these things are really, really big," said Paul Byrne of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Lunar and Planetary Institute. "There are some truly gargantuan cliffs on Mercury." Bryne is the lead author of a paper presenting the results in the March 16 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. The greater shrinkage corresponds to a model of the planet with a much larger iron core, said McKinnon."

I'd love to see an artist's rendering of what those gargantuan cliffs must look like, says the guy who's afraid of heights.

Re: If only (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-17 15:38 (#MC)

As usual, Google is your (carefully tracking and note-taking) friend:

There's this but it doesn't give a sense of scale. This NASA video doesn't quite give you the "live from the planet's surface" sense. This one on Uyirvani is the best one I could find (is that Russian?)

Re: If only (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-03-17 17:08 (#ME)

This the messenger website (messenger = MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) which gives links to various resolution images for Mercury and the latest DEM (digital elevation model) for its northern hemisphere.

GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) scripts would provide one simple way to generate oblique views down on the DEM.


Time Reason Points Voter
2014-03-18 17:53 Informative +1

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