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Putting the pieces together

Putting the pieces together - Putting the pieces together...

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Putting the pieces together The crust and the outermost part of the mantle make up a layer of hard rock called the lithosphere . The rigid, brittle lithosphere gradually turns into the softer, more pliable (and hotter) asthenosphere. Small planets have very thick lithospheres that extend from the surface to almost the core or all the way to the core. Large planets will have thin lithospheres because they still retain a lot of heat. Earth's lithosphere is thin enough to be cracked into chunks called "plates" that will discussed in detail on the following webpage . The Earth's lithosphere is on average about 100 kilometers thick, with the oceans plates being thinner than the continental plates. Venus' lithosphere is a little thicker than the Earth's. Mars' lithosphere extends hundreds of kilometers almost all the way to its core. Mercury's lithosphere is 700 kilometers thick. The jovian planets are made of lighter materials that exist under much higher pressures than can occur anywhere on the Earth. Direct observations of their structure are still limited to the top
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