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The end of the iron-core age.The terrestrial planets aggregated essentially from small particles, to begin as solid cool bodies with the same general compositions, and there is no possibility of an iron-core developing within any of them at any stage. Their differing internal and surface properties receive ready explanation from their different masses which determine whether the pressures within are sufficient to bring about phase-changes. The claim that the terrestrial core can be identified by means of shock-wave data as nickel-iron is based on theoretical misconception, whereas the actual seismic data establish an uncompressed-density value much lower than any such mixture could have. The onset of the Ramsey phase-change in the earth takes the form of a rapid initial collapse to produce a large core in metallic state which thereafter continues to grow secularly as a result of radioactive heating and leads to reduction of surface-area at long last adequate to account for folded and thrusted mountain-building.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Lyttleton, R. A.
(Cambridge University Cambridge, England; California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
August 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1973
Publication Information
Publication: The Moon
Volume: 7
Subject Category
Space Sciences
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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