Mercury

The cosmos at our fingertips.
Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Smallest

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:09 am

Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system—only slightly larger than Earth's Moon.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Insider

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:10 am

It is the closest planet to the Sun at a distance of about 36 million miles (58 million kilometers) or 0.39 AU.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Long Days, Short Years

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:11 am

One day on Mercury (the time it takes for Mercury to rotate or spin once with respect to the stars) takes 59 Earth days. One day-night cycle on Mercury takes 175.97 Earth days. Mercury makes a complete orbit around the Sun (a year in Mercury time) in just 88 Earth days.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Rough Surface

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:12 am

Mercury is a rocky planet, also known as a terrestrial planet. Mercury has a solid, cratered surface, much like the Earth's moon.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Can't Breathe It

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:13 am

Mercury's thin atmosphere, or exosphere, is composed mostly of oxygen (O2), sodium (Na), hydrogen (H2), helium (He), and potassium (K). Atoms that are blasted off the surface by the solar wind and micrometeoroid impacts create Mercury's exosphere.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Moonless

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:14 am

Mercury has no moons.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Ringless

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:15 am

There are no rings around Mercury.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Tough Place to Live

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:17 am

No evidence for life has been found on Mercury. Daytime Temperatures can reach 430 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Fahrenheit) and drop to -180 degrees Celsius (-290 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. It is unlikely life (as we know it) could survive on this planet.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Big Sun

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:18 am

Standing on Mercury's surface at its closest approach to the Sun, our star would appear more than three times larger than it does on Earth.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

Joseph Buell
Science Officer
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Location: Milky Way

Mercury: Robotic Visitors

Post by Joseph Buell » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:19 am

The two spacecraft of ESA-JAXA's BepiColombo are en route to Mercury. NASA's Mariner 10 was the first mission to explore Mercury. NASA's MESSENGER was the first to orbit the innermost planet.
Source: NASA
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.