2011. október 25., kedd

Mars Formed Rapidly Into Runt of Planetary Litter

Mars developed in as little as two to four million years after the birth of the solar system, far more quickly than Earth, according to a new study published in the May 26 issue of the journal Nature. The red planet’s rapid formation helps explain why it is so small, say the study’s co-authors, Nicolas Dauphas at the University of Chicago and Ali Pourmand at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

This image shows the relative size of the inner planets of the solar system (from l-r): Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. New research conducted by scientists at the universities of Chicago and Miami supports the idea that Mars owes its small size to its relatively rapid formation.

Mars measures approximately 6,794 kilometers (4,221 miles) in diameter. Earth, with a diameter of 12,750 kilometers (7,926 miles) grew to almost twice the size of Mars via collisions with smaller planetary embryos. Mars is a planetary embryo that escaped such collisions, scientists report in the May 25, 2011 issue of the journal Nature.


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