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Planetary scientists explained the dark color of Mercury

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Baku, April 1, AZERTAC

Planetary scientists from the USA explained the dark color high proportion of mercury content on the surface of minerals with carbon. The results of their research, the authors published in the journal Nature Geoscience, and briefly they can be found on the Science News website.

Scholars interested in the question of why mercury reflects light about a third less than the same area on the moon. Previously, experts had attributed this to a high content of iron on the planet. However, it absorbs waves in a narrow range, and the content of this metal in the surface layer of the planet is estimated at three percent.

In the new study, the researchers explained the low light reflection mercury contained on its surface carbon. This element, as scientists believe, came to the planet from comets and asteroids that were intensively facing the planet in the past. Thus, the carbon accounts for about 18 percent of the mass of the comet, and the collision of these heavenly bodies to the planet was about 50 times more often than with the satellite of the Earth.

In addition, such comet led to the formation of stable forms of carbon (graphite and nanodiamonds) and soot, which, despite the high temperature (due to the proximity to the Sun) on the surface of the planet, has been preserved in its highly rarefied space.

Mercury is nearest to the Sun, as well as the smallest and lightest planet in the solar system. It is lighter and less Land about 20 times, and its average density is about the same as that of the Earth. Year on the planet takes about 88 days. She has no satellites and highly rarefied atmosphere, and by their physical characteristics, mercury resembles the moon.

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