, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 527-553

Mercury: Magnetic field and interior

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Abstract

Between 1965 and 1975, our knowledge of Mercury and its physical characteristics improved dramatically. Radar studies of the planetary orbit and rotation rate and Mariner 10 spacecraft studies of its surface, atmosphere, magnetic field and plasma environment provided startling new results on what had been the least understood member of the terrestrial planets. With a highly cratered surface and a modest magnetic field, Mercury is a differentiated planet with fractionally the largest iron core of all.