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Unformatted text preview: The Terrestrial Planets Mercury Cratered Virtually no atmosphere Hot Surface Geologically dead No moons Vital Statistics Radius 2,439 km = 38% of Earth Mass 3.30 x 10 23 kg = 5% of Earth Mean Density 5.43 g/cm 3 = 98% of Earth Mean Surface Temp 470 K (700 K to 90 K) Atmosphere: VERY thin - mostly sodium, potassium not a true atmosphere Weak magnetic field History: Developed core which became differentiated, then crust. Crustal heating cracking allowed volcanism and volcanic flooding of the surface. Subsequent cooling caused ancient tectonic activity. Craters exist because no atmosphere to cause erosion. Tidal effects of Sun + orbital eccentricity caused rotational period locked to 1.5 times orbital period. Weak magnetic field suggests very slowly rotating core. No present tectonic activity suggests nearly field suggests very slowly rotating core....
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- Spring '06