Mercury’s MIllions of Craters


Fig. 1 Heavily cratered Mercury (NASA)

Fig. 1 Heavily cratered Mercury












Currently Accepted Mercury Lore

The recent history of Mercury, as the former solid core of Mars, is detailed in several of my previous posts . This one concentrates on its craters and their implications. prompted by a Youtube video ‘Venus and Mercury the Two Most Hostile Planets …’. Mercury is the most heavily cratered planet in the solar system, estimated to have at least a million craters.  Based on the belief that all planets are 4.5 billion years old, planetary scientists have invented several entirely ficticious ages for the ‘geology’ of Mercury (Noachian, Hesperian and Amazonian) and claim that it was most severely cratered by the Late Heavy Bombardment 3.8 billion years ago!

The Very Very Late Bombardment

The Cyclic Catastrophism scenario posits that the bombardment was much Later, beginning only 2,700 years ago.  Mercury, the solid core of Mars, was released when it was close to the Earth in 687 BC and after interacting with Venus for a few centuries, both entered their current orbits. At separation it was a pristine sphere of solid iron with a layer of sulfur adhering to its surface, in fact, the long parallel grooves on its surface, due to the jagged rocks of the Valles Marineris through which it exited Mars, were so prominent that the Greeks claimed that Hermes had invented the lyre. The final ejection of Mercury occurred after 3,000 years of convulsions within Mars that had resulted in the ejection of innumerable large hot rocks from the numerous volcanoes on its surface.  These made possible the transfer of the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere and valuable mineral deposits to the Earth during that period. As pointed out previously, the mass of rock that was ejected from Mars in those 3,000 years is the reason why the entire northern third of the planet is seven km below the planetary datum.  Although a fraction of these bodies fell to the Earth and on the near side of the Moon, where it formed the regolith and the lunar maria (the origin of the Late Heavy Bombardment notion), most of them were blasted out into space.  Because this occurred as Mars orbited the Earth and spun about an axis facing the Earth, they were expelled in all directions, and given this wide dispersion, most entered orbits around the Sun with a variety of inclinations.

The Pummeled Mercury

Fig. 2 A ringed basin on Mercury

Fig. 2 A ringed basin on Mercury (NASA)

Innumerable rock bodies ejected from Mars entered highly eccentric orbits which have decayed in the last 5,700 years and fallen directly toward the Sun. How many? Well, the show referred to above estimates a million craters on Mercury alone. These bodies, having fallen from the vicinity of the Earth, accelerated by the gravity of the Sun are moving like the proverbial ‘bats out of hell’. Since there is no atmosphere to burn them up they strike the surface of Mercury at very high velocities, many directly downward. One such impact created the enormous Caloris Basin on Mercury, some 1,550 km in diameter.  As a result of this direct downward trajectory, complimented by the solid iron nature of the ‘planet’, a pure seismic surface wave propagated around the planet culminating at the so-called ‘wierd terrain’ at the antipode of the impact site. This could never happen on a planet with internal structure such as the earth or Mars in which seismic waves can take a number of paths through these worlds, but in the case of Mercury, which is a perfect solid sphere of iron, only a surface wave could result, producing the antipode feature.  The solid sphere of Mercury is also revealed by numerous ‘flat bottomed craters’, currently thought to have been filled in by lava from the interior, but there is no lava on Mercury.  Note that even the enormous ringed basin in Figure 2 bottom assumes the spherical shape of the solid iron planet.  Astronomers believe this is due to lava filling in the crater, but this is the solid iron planet Mercury, unscathed despite the power of the impact.  This image also shows how thin the layer of material on the surface actually is.

Mercury has been described as “having a very large core” by scientists who still want to believe it is a normal planet with interior structure, thus allowing a liquid layer in which the imaginary dynamo effect could be creating its global dipole magnetic field.  But based on Cowling’s theorem, the great symmetry of Mercury’s global dipole magnetic field precludes the dynamo effect.  Moreover, it is a well known fact that the solid core of the Earth has a density measurably less than solid iron – indeed, a controversy has raged for years as to the contaminant (element) responsible.  Since Mercury is the recently released solid core of Mars it could be similarly less dense than solid iron resulting in an even larger solid body (FeH?) beneath the sulfur coating it brought from Mars and the regolith which has fallen in the last 2,700 years.

Influence on Solar Spectra

Considering the miniscule size of Mercury, approximately one quarter the diameter of the Earth, compared to that of the Sun, gives (can never actually give) an idea of the vast number of bodies that have been and are still falling into the atmosphere of the Sun.  It is this vast number of invisible bodies, ejected from Mars as it orbited the Earth between 3700 and 687 BC that ‘lights-up’ the solar corona, creating radiation temperatures of millions of degrees measured by UV radiation.  The very spotty (non-thermal) nature of the coronal temperatures is a dead give-away, but scientists who have no knowledge of Cyclic Catastrophism still struggle with the idea that the million degree corona temperature somehow comes up from the Sun’s surface which is only 5,000 degrees, via magnetic fields. When astronomers compare the absorption (big mistake) spectra of the Sun with other stars they conclude that the Sun is unique because it ‘contains’ much more carbon. This is the trickster, cyclic catastrophism, at work.  Similarly, they conclude that because carbonaceous chondrite meteorites (which were recently blasted out of Mars) and the Sun, via its absorption spectra, appear to have the same composition, that these meteorites are primordial –  the stuff of which the Earth formed.

Water on Mercury?

Fig. 2 A radar image of Mercury's north pole

Fig. 3. A radar image of Mercury’s north pole (NASA)

Recently, amazed scientists have found traces of water in craters near the north pole of Mercury (Figure 3), which remain in shade all year, but cannot explain the origin of the water.   Cyclic Catastrophism explains that many near-surface rocks were blasted from Mars, such as the carbonaceous chondrites, and as a result contain some water.  In fact, the short period comets are not icy bodies, only rocks that contain aquifers, the water from which escapes as gaseous plumes when heated by the Sun.

Mercury’s Dipole Magnetic Field

Fig. 4 Maxwell Montes on Venus marks the origin of the ‘deposit’ on Mercury. (NASA)

The large bulge in the foreground of Figure 3 shows what I believe is a basalt deposit from Venus, which fell during a close encounter with Mercury in the several centuries after its release before the two entered their current orbits.  Figure 4 is a radar image of the 11.5 km mountain on Venus, the probable source of the deposit on Mercury. The  enormous bulge (Fig. 3) has been proposed by the Brown U ‘dynamo team’, to be a lava flow from the interior of Mercury. but it sits higher than the rim of the crater over which it is draped.

Mercury’s Offset Magnetic Field

As suggested in the previously cited post, the magnetic dipole field of Mercury has been modified by this deposit.  As the temperature and pressure within Mercury has decreased in the last 2,700 years, the superconducting FeH crystalline zone, in which its global magnetic field actually originates, has been forced deeper in the iron core where the pressure is high, and probably will eventually be terminated.  However at the date when the deposit of liquid basalt fell from Venus 2,700 years ago, the global magnetic field of Mercury was much stronger.  As the molten basalt hardened it became permanently magnetized by this stronger field.  As a result, the global magnetic field measured today appears shifted some 20 % north from the center of Mercury.

Mercury Shrinking

Fig. 5 Surface scarps due to Mercury's recent shrinkage.

Fig. 5 Surface scarps due to Mercury’s recent shrinkage. (NASA)

The NASA MESSENGER satellite images have revealed 5,934 ridges and scarps created by the contracting planet, ranging from 5 to 560 miles (9 to 900 km) in length.  This leads to a reduction of about 7 kilometers, which scientists believe has occurred over its entire (imagined) planetary existence 4.5 billion years.  Cyclic Catastrophism suggests that the shrinking of Mercury has occurred in the last 2,700 years, probably due to the loss of hydrogen from the outer portion of the FeH interior, forcing the superconducting crystalline form of iron, which is the source of the its global magnetic field, to greater depths.

“The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.” Albert Enstein

~ by Angiras on April 8, 2014.

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