Ice on mercury was named partly local

Astronomers have proposed a scenario of the formation of water
Mercury under the influence of solar wind on the local minerals. The resulting
molecules will partially settle in permanent shadow
the craters in the polar regions, creating the ice reserves. Thus, for
the formation of such deposits, the existence of which follows from the data of the device MESSENGER, can meet local
processes, not only the fall of comets, write the authors in The Astrophysical Journal
Letters.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, which on its surface in daytime temperature exceeds
400 degrees Celsius. Also because of this situation, the planet is strongly influenced
particle flux from the sun — the solar wind. This leads to extremely low
atmospheric density, because the gases leave her under the pressure of solar
plasma.

Ground radar scan of mercury, as well as data
neutron spectrometer and laser altimeter on Board the spacecraft MESSENGER, published
on the orbit of the planet, indicate deposits of water ice in the polar
the craters, permanently in shadows. It is believed that she came along
with asteroids and comets, but it is possible that there are local mechanisms
synthesis of water under the action of the solar wind — these options were considered
for the moon and asteroids.

The American scientists under the leadership of Thomas Orlando (Thomas
Orlando) from Georgia Institute of Technology have proposed
education water for mercury. Under this scheme, on the day side of the planet
under the action of solar-wind protons contained in the regolith hydroxyl
group (OH-) can
to separate and turn into water. These molecules can expect a different fate:
photodissociate under the bright rays of the Sun, evaporation into space or
deposition in the polar regions. The results of the simulation study
show that up to ten percent of the accumulated ice can be related to
data mechanism.

Scientists have long known the formation of hydroxyl at
the interaction of protons with metal oxides. It is believed that this process
responsible for the appearance of the absorption line at a wavelength of 2.8 microns,
observed on the surface of the moon and some asteroids that are in significant
the measure consists of oxides of aluminium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Over time connected
hydroxyl groups will become greater, and the emergence of new slow,
but will increase the formation of molecular hydrogen and water. The balance of these
substances controls the surface temperature, concentrations and related
the corresponding chemical reactions with activation energies.

Key conditions for effective education water,
according to the new work, are high proton flux and high temperature.
Since the magnetic field of mercury is about one hundred times weaker than the earth, his ability
to reject charged particles is much lower. As a result, planets form intense streams of charged particles penetrating into the depth of soil of approximately
ten nanometers. The authors ‘ calculations show that this leads to the formation of approximately 3 × 1030 molecules of water per day on the entire surface of the planet.

Simulations taking into account the possible migration paths
predicts an accumulation of about 10to 13 pounds of water in polar craters on
for three million years. It may be of the order of a tenth of all
are there water. Thus, despite the dominant role of comets and
asteroids in the appearance of water on mercury, the local synthesis mechanism could also be
significant.

Previously, scientists has increased 100 times the assessment of the inventory of water in lunar craters, found on Jupiter’s water cloud and for the first time detected from exoplanets in the habitable zone of water vapor in the atmosphere.

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