Astronomy Astrophysics

Astronomy by Teoman Sağlam

By Teoman Sağlam

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Most of Mars' southern hemisphere is still covered with craters, of diameters from tens of metres to hundreds of kilometres. 5 km in diameter, to the north-west of Elysium (illuminated from the right; MOC image). ) Just as a pebble thrown into water can produce only circular ripples, most impacts leave round craters, even if the impactor does not fall vertically. There are, let it be said, a few elliptical craters, corresponding to `grazing' impacts where the impactors approached at angles below 158.

The magnetic field had already disappeared at the time of its formation. ) 44 Planet Mars thought that convection within the liquid core, with hot iron ascending from the centre towards the boundary with the mantle, there to cool and descend again, generates an electric current. This in its turn produces a magnetic field: the `dynamo' effect. How does the electric current come about? Apparently, `randomly' created micro-magnetic fields within this medium generate the electric current, and in its turn a global magnetic field.

45 billion years ago, Mars was half the size of Venus or the Earth, and about ten times less massive. This difference would prove decisive, in more ways than one, for the quantity of energy stored within the planets. The more massive a planet is, the greater is the On Earth . . The Earth is characterised by plate tectonics, its continental and oceanic (`lithospheric') plates moving at a rate of a few centimetres per year. This movement at the surface is associated with convection currents within the mantle.

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