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Mercury & the Moon Mercury & the Moon. Mercury and the Moon: What can we learn? What do we know? What do we know? Why is it important? Why is it important?

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Presentation on theme: "Mercury & the Moon Mercury & the Moon. Mercury and the Moon: What can we learn? What do we know? What do we know? Why is it important? Why is it important?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mercury & the Moon Mercury & the Moon

2 Mercury and the Moon: What can we learn? What do we know? What do we know? Why is it important? Why is it important?

3 Mercury and the Moon: What can we learn? What do we know? What do we know? Why is it important? Why is it important?

4 Mercury

5 Mercury

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7 Mercury’s Impact History Huge impact craters as well as thousands of smaller ones…

8 Mercury’s Impact History Very Similar features on our Moon Mercury Moon

9 Mercury’s plains Very Similar features on our Moon

10 Mercury’s plains History told by craters!

11 Tectonics on Mercury Long cliffs indicate that Mercury shrank early in its history.

12 Mercury’s core

13 Mercury’s core: A Hypothesis

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16 News from Mercury NASA’s Messenger Mission NASA’s Messenger Mission now mapping Mercury’s Surface

17 Latest Photos of Mercury

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19 Ice!

20 ICE?$$%## I thought Mercury was > 700 ° F degrees in the sunlight??

21 Where the sun doesn’t shine…

22 A great example of the process of science… Radio Telescope Observations in 1990’s

23 A great example of the process of science… Radar reflects from bright spots But is it ice??

24 Latest Photos of Mercury

25 Why Explore Mercury? Learning about Earth from other planets… Learning about Earth from other planets… Core Core Magnetic Field Magnetic Field Role of Solar Energy Exposure Role of Solar Energy Exposure Planetary Models Planetary Models NASA’s view NASA’s view NASA’s view NASA’s view

26 Our Moon Some volcanic activity 3 billion years ago must have flooded lunar craters, creating lunar maria. Some volcanic activity 3 billion years ago must have flooded lunar craters, creating lunar maria. The Moon is now geologically dead. The Moon is now geologically dead.

27 The Origin of the Moon: An Example of the Process of Science Where did the moon come from? Where did the moon come from? How do we know? How do we know?

28 How do we explain the existence of our Moon? Terrestrial planets don’t have moons…. Our Moon is VERY large compared to its “partner” Composition is both like Earth… Rocky materials, similar to Earth’s Crust …and NOT like Earth: No water, no atmosphere, not a large metal core

29 How do we explain the existence of our Moon? FOUR (4) Theories Formed at the same time, alongside Earth Formed from Earth’s materials Captured as it passed by Result of Giant Impact

30 How do we explain the existence of our Moon? Formed at the same time, alongside Earth The “Sister” Theory… But then Should have the same composition… Should have water & “volatiles” Should have similar density It doesn’t, so rule this one out…

31 How do we explain the existence of our Moon? Formed from Earth’s materials As earth formed, it “spun out” “Fission Theory” But then…. again Should have water & “volatiles” Should have similar density It doesn’t, so rule this one out…

32 How do we explain the existence of our Moon? Captured as it passed by “Capture Theory” But then…. How can this be done? It is very unlikely, so rule this one out…

33 Captured Moons The unusual moons of some planets may be captured planetesimals. The unusual moons of some planets may be captured planetesimals.

34 How do we explain the existence of our Moon? Result of Giant Impact Mars-sized impactor strikes Earth a glancing blow Impactor destroyed, creates a debris ring Gravity takes over….the Moon is born. Lacks “volatiles” and water & Iron Computer models show this to be possible!

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36 Giant Impact Giant impact stripped matter from Earth’s crust Stripped matter began to orbit Then accreted into Moon

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38 Our Moon Should we go back? Should we go back? What can we still learn? What can we still learn? NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon (10/22/13) NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon (10/22/13) NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon (10/22/13) NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon (10/22/13) Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter Views (2 Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter Views (2 Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter Views (2 Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter Views (2 LCROSS Satellite wins Technology Award (2011) LCROSS Satellite wins Technology Award (2011) LCROSS Satellite wins Technology Award (2011) LCROSS Satellite wins Technology Award (2011)

39 LRO image of Peak in Crater Tycho

40 LRO image of Soviet Luna Lander

41 LRO image of Moon’s North Pole

42 LCROSS

43 LCROSS find water on the Moon

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