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Lecture 12

Lecture 12--14, Study Guide

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Rick Halpern

Lecture 12: Moon and Mercury o Geologically dead very little surface change o Mercury rotation is not locked to the Sun o 1:1 resonance is not possible because mercurys orbit is eccentric and thus planet travel faster at perihelion o Rather Mercurys sidereal day and year are in 3:2 resonance. Mercury rotates three times while going around the Sun twice o Mercury is best seen at its max elongation = 23.5 degrees above horizon o Mercurys is not the hottest planet o Mercurys eccentric orbit produces hot longitudes o Interiors o Moons density is really low thus it does not have ironnickel core and no magnetic filed o Crust is thicker than Earths o Moon quakes occur due to meteor impact o Mercury is denser than Moon and has a weak magnetic field o Mercury has large core relative to its radius o Mercury is the densest body in the solar system when decompressed o Evolutionary history of the Moon o 4.6 Formation of Moon; heavy bombardment liquefies surface o 3.9 billion: Bombardment much less intense; lunar volcanism fills maria o 3.2 billion: Volcanic activity ceases o Current Theory: Mars sized object hit the liquid Earth, caused material
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