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Mercury's interior, illustration

Mercury's interior, illustration

C038/7289

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Credit

CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS CLARIVAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cutaway illustration showing the internal structure of Mercury, the smallest planet of the Solar System. Mercury has a radius of 2439 kilometres (km). Data compiled by the Messenger probe that orbited the planet between 2011 and 2015 revealed its composition. It has a rocky crust about 40 km thick, that covers a 400 km thick silicate mantle. Below this is an iron sulfide (FeS) layer that is 50 km thick and a huge metallic core with a radius of 1950 km. The outer core (1000 km) is composed of molten iron while the inner core (950 km) is solid iron.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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