Phys Assignment Essay

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The surface of Mercury and the moon share similar physical characteristics but also differ in certain aspects as well, outlining variations in their respective geological histories. In general, both the moon and Mercury show great similarity in size and from their substantial amount of craters which can be attributed to their lack of a prominent atmosphere that would burn up any primordial impacts. However, a closer look shows many differences. For example, the moon has 14 maria (lava flow regions), a relatively large number when compared with Mercury as it has few maria. This gives us a hint as to how fast Mercury and the moon cooled in relation to each other, as the cooler planet would have less maria. Therefore, Mercury cooled much faster than the moon. Additionally, the moon’s maria are concentrated on the near side, proposing the idea of a thinner crust at the nearside, as opposed to the far side, which contains highlands. The far side location is heavily cratered and has rigorous terrain, implying that it is much older .Mercury contains few maria but has many wrinkles (scarps) on its crust. For this to happen, Mercury’s crust cooled first while it was rotating relatively quickly, enough to produce an equatorial bulge. As the rotation of Mercury slowed down due to tidal forces of the sun, its shape became more spherical, causing physical disturbances in the crust producing wrinkles, even on top of the craters, giving us more insight into when this occurred. Another difference that is observed is the fact that craters on Mercury tend to be more densely packed with one another, and usually confined around a central crater than on the moon. This leads to the assumption of a larger gravitational pull on Mercury as

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