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Stuff and Substance

  • Peter Grego
Chapter
Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

Abstract

Like the Earth, Mars is a terrestrial planet made chiefly of silicates (minerals ­containing silicon and oxygen), along with metals and a variety of other elements that compose igneous rock. To determine the interior composition of Mars scientists require information on several parameters; these include the planet’s total mass, its size, the moment of inertia and core mass; the latter has not yet been scientifically established. We do know that Mars, like the Earth, has differentiated contents, with a dense central metallic nickel-iron core surrounded by a silicate-rich mantle and overlain by a solid rocky crust. Mars’ mantle is twice as rich in iron as that of Earth, and it also contains a greater proportion of potassium and phosphorus.

Keywords

Impact Crater Terrestrial Planet Martian Surface Shield Volcano Impact Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Grego
    • 1
  1. 1.CornwallUK

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