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Planetary science

Kick for the cosmic clockwork

Mercury's spin and its orbit around the Sun are tied to each other in a unique arrangement. According to a set of calculations, random asteroid impacts may have aided the planet's evolution into the current spin-orbit pattern.

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Figure 1: Schematic diagram of planetary spin-orbit resonances.


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Correspondence to Matija Ćuk.

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Ćuk, M. Kick for the cosmic clockwork. Nature Geosci 5, 7–8 (2012).

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