The curious case of Mercury's internal structure

  title={The curious case of Mercury's internal structure},
  author={Steven A. Hauck, and Jean-Luc Margot and Sean C. Solomon and Roger J. Phillips and Catherine L. Johnson and Frank LeMoine and Erwan M. Mazarico and Timothy J. Mccoy and Sebastiano Padovan and Stanton J. Peale and Mark E. Perry and David E. Smith and Maria T. Zuber},
  journal={Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets},
  pages={1204 - 1220}
The recent determination of the gravity field of Mercury and new Earth‐based radar observations of the planet's spin state afford the opportunity to explore Mercury's internal structure. These observations provide estimates of two measures of the radial mass distribution of Mercury: the normalized polar moment of inertia and the fractional polar moment of inertia of the solid portion of the planet overlying the liquid core. Employing Monte Carlo techniques, we calculate several million models… 
The tides of Mercury and possible implications for its interior structure
The combination of the radio tracking of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft and Earth‐based radar measurements of the planet's spin state gives three
The interior configuration of planet Mercury constrained by moment of inertia and planetary contraction
This paper presents an analysis of present‐day interior configuration models for Mercury considering cores of Fe‐S or Fe‐Si alloy, the latter possibly covered by a solid FeS layer, in light of the
The Internal Structure of Mercury's Core Inferred From Magnetic Observations
Previous models of Mercury's core magnetic field based on high altitude data from first MESSENGER flybys revealed an axisymmetric structure of the field. Here, we use low altitude MESSENGER data
The Low-Degree Shape of Mercury
The shape of Mercury, particularly when combined with its geoid, provides clues to the planet's internal structure, thermal evolution, and rotational history. Elevation measurements of the northern
Viscoelastic Tides of Mercury and the Determination of its Inner Core Size
We computed interior structure models of Mercury and analyzed their viscoelastic tidal response. The models are consistent with MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging mission
Challenges on Mercury's Interior Structure Posed by the New Measurements of its Obliquity and Tides
We present calculations of interior models of Mercury that are constrained to match Mercury's mean density, normalized moment of inertia factor (MoI), and 88 days libration amplitude. We show that
Thermochemical evolution of Mercury's interior
A number of observations performed by the MESSENGER spacecraft can now be employed to better understand the evolution of Mercury's interior. Using recent constraints on interior structure, surface
Investigation of the interior of Mercury through the study of its gravity, topography, and tidal response
With the goal of furthering our understanding of the interior structure of Mercury, this work tries to answer the following two questions. What can the response of the planet to solar tides reveal
Experimental constraints on Mercury's core composition


Predicted recovery of Mercury's internal structure by MESSENGER
Recent Earth‐based and forthcoming MESSENGER spacecraft observations of the spin state and gravity field of Mercury will provide the opportunity to determine that planet's internal structure with
Internal structure of Mercury: Implications of a molten core
[1] Mercury is unique among the terrestrial planets for its relatively low mass (3.302 × 1023 kg) and high average density (5.427 g cm−3) that together imply an unusual iron-rich bulk composition and
Mercury - Internal structure and thermal evolution
A procedure for determining the nature of Mercury's core
Abstract— We review the assertion that the precise measurement of the second degree gravitational harmonic coefficients, the obliquity, and the amplitude of the physical libration in longitude, C20,
Thermal evolution of Mercury as constrained by MESSENGER observations
Orbital observations of Mercury by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft provide new constraints on that planet's thermal and interior evolution.
Gravity Field and Internal Structure of Mercury from MESSENGER
The results point to an interior structure that differs from those of the other terrestrial planets: the density of the planet's solid outer shell suggests the existence of a deep reservoir of high-density material, possibly an Fe-S layer.
Mercury's thermal history and the generation of its magnetic field
Mercury probably formed hot with early differentiation of an iron core. If this core is pure iron, then it would have frozen very quickly. However, volatile-bearing planetesimals most likely
Low‐degree structure in Mercury's planetary magnetic field
[1] The structure of Mercury's internal magnetic field has been determined from analysis of orbital Magnetometer measurements by the MESSENGER spacecraft. We identified the magnetic equator on 531
The rotational dynamics of Mercury and the state of its core
Data on the rotational dynamics of Mercury are examined together with possible events that could lead to the current state of rotation. It is shown that the dynamical evolution of Mercury's spin