Ice on Mercury

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Ice on Mercury

Post by THX1138 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:10 am

As per the story today on yahoo news / enough ice on Mercury’s permanently shadowed Polar Regions to encase Washington DC / With a surface temperature that would melt lead the poles still harbor ice, just, wow.

Off subject for a moment with regards to what our Mars rover ( I love that thing ) has recently discovered there which the scientists are all hush-hush about these days. Since it’s both common knowledge that our rover could have discovered evidence of microbial life and could not have possibly found any Martians living under a rock (Because we all know that
Eric Von Zipper’s ancient aliens) ate them all :)

It would seem that the possibility of a person “ or something “ living on or being from Mercury is so marginal that our dictionary has no definition for such. Wouldn’t it be a kick in the backside if it turned out to be the only other planet amongst us that did!
But anyway back to the topic of this thread
The possibility of a goldilocks zone on mercury’s surface is ?

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by bystander » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:58 am

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Water Ice and Organics Found at Mercury’s North Pole !!

Post by ritwik » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:14 pm

cImage
A radar image of Mercury's north polar region acquired by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is shown superposed on a mosaic of Mercury MESSENGER images of the same area in this NASA handout photo released November 29, 2012. Shown in red are areas of Mercuryís north polar region that are in shadow in all images acquired by MESSENGER to date. Since their discovery in 1992, these polar deposits have been hypothesized to consist of water ice trapped in permanently shadowed areas near Mercuryís north and south pole, but other explanations for the polar deposits have also been suggested.
Photograph by: NASA , Reuters

NASA announced Thursday that its Messenger probe has discovered new evidence of water ice on Mercury.

In the announcement, Sean Solomon, principal investigator for the Mercury Messenger program, said the probe had uncovered new evidence that deposits in permanently shadowed regions of Mercury's poles is water ice. The ice is found predominantly in impact craters, according to data obtained by Messenger.

ImageImage
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Image

According to a NASA press release, the tilt of Mercury’s rotational axis is almost zero -- less than one degree -- so there are pockets at the planet’s poles that never see sunlight. Scientists suggested decades ago that there might be water ice at Mercury’s poles, but the new findings provide"compelling support" for that claim.

Messenger used neutron spectroscopy to measure average hydrogen concentrations, an indicator of water ice.

“The neutron data indicate that Mercury’s radar-bright polar deposits contain, on average, a hydrogen-rich layer more than tens of centimeters thick beneath a surficial layer 10 to 20 centimeters thick that is less rich in hydrogen,” wrote David Lawrence, a Messenger scientist based at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “The buried layer has a hydrogen content consistent with nearly pure water ice.”

Launched in August 2004, the robotic spacecraft conducted three flybys of Mercury in 2008 and 2009 before entering the planet's orbit in March 2011.

The probe has collected more than 100,000 images of Mercury, some of which are viewable on NASA's website.

Messenger, an acronym of MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging, has already changed the way scientists think about the planet closest to the sun.

In 2011, data sent back by the probe provided new evidence of widespread volcanic activity on the planet's surface, including a huge expanse of volcanic plains surrounding the north polar region of Mercury. According to NASA, continuous smooth plains cover more than 6 percent of the total surface of the planet.

Other MESSENGER mission objectives include studying the nature of Mercury's magnetic fields, the structure of its core, its geologic history and the composition of its exosphere.

Prior to Messenger's mission, only the Mariner 10 probe had successfully visited the planet. The findings of the three Mariner 10 flybys in 1974 and 1975 for years constituted the bulk of what was known about Mercury.

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by THX1138 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:51 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post those links bystander, Interisting comment made at the end of it, well to me anyhow

an ideal location to build a colony.
“People joke about it, but it’s not so crazy, really,” said David A. Paige, a professor of geology at U.C.L.A. who calculated the crater temperatures

Then also since it’s as stated ( an ideal place to build a colony ) perhaps someone should come up with a word for someone from mercury to ad to the English dictionary ?

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:23 pm

THX1138 wrote:Then also since it’s as stated ( an ideal place to build a colony ) perhaps someone should come up with a word for someone from mercury to ad to the English dictionary ?
Mercurian would be the obvious choice, and a quick Google search reveals it has been consistently used in reference to hypothetical beings from Mercury, as well as to colonists. (My dictionary defines mercurian as relating to Mercury, equivalent to martian, and as being born under the influence of Mercury).
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by neufer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
THX1138 wrote:
Then also since it’s as stated ( an ideal place to build a colony ) perhaps someone should come up with a word for someone from mercury to ad to the English dictionary ?
Mercurian would be the obvious choice, and a quick Google search reveals it has been consistently used in reference to hypothetical beings from Mercury, as well as to colonists. (My dictionary defines mercurian as relating to Mercury, equivalent to martian, and as being born under the influence of Mercury).
http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/11465/what-is-the-origin-of-earthling wrote:
<<'Earthling', before the sci-fi era, had somewhat the same connotations as 'troglodyte', an lesser, earthy person (see the etymonline provenance as in mplungjan's answer). This is what probably inspired Heinlein to use it to have people not from Earth refer to people from Earth. The sci-fi literature has created a number of alternatives, like 'earther' and 'terran'. 'Earthling' has too much of a 1950's scifi connotation and is not used in contemporary sci-fi, except for pejoratively.

As to other planets, generally recognized inhabitant names, though having only imaginary referents, are:
  • Venusian
    Martian
    Jovian
    Saturnian
'Mercurial', 'venereal', 'martial', jovial, and 'saturnine' are the respective metaphorical versions (that is, not referring to an inhabitant, but to 'slippery/fickle', 'sex-related', 'military-like', 'convivial', and 'gloomy', respectively). 'Earthy' would be the closest analog for Earth.

The other planets don't really have commonly recognized inhabitant names, but they can be easily created anew:
  • Mercutian,
    Uranian,
    Neptunian,
    Plutonian
(yes, I know... then Erisian, Cerean, Haumean, Makemakean...).>>
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:07 pm

neufer wrote: The other planets don't really have commonly recognized inhabitant names, but they can be easily created anew:

Mercutian
Uranian,
Neptunian,
Plutonian
(yes, I know... then Erisian, Cerean, Haumean, Makemakean...).
And yet, I find no example of "mercutian" being used this way. But there are many examples of "mercurian" in science fiction and fantasy. Given that the vocabulary of English is defined by usage, I'd suggest that there's no need to construct a new word, since one already exists.
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by bystander » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:44 pm

MESSENGER Finds New Evidence that Water Ice Is Abundant at the Poles of Mercury
Press Release | Multimedia | NASA | JHU-APL | 2012 Nov 29
Observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft have provided compelling support for the 20-year old hypothesis that Mercury hosts abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed polar craters. Three independent lines of evidence support this conclusion: the first measurements of excess hydrogen at Mercury's north pole with MESSENGER's Neutron Spectrometer, the first measurements of the reflectance of Mercury's polar deposits at near-infrared wavelengths with the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), and the first detailed models of the surface and near-surface temperatures of Mercury's north polar regions that utilize the actual topography of Mercury's surface measured by MLA. These findings are presented in three papers published online today in Science Express.
MESSENGER Finds New Mercury Water Ice Evidence
NASA JPL-Caltech | 2012 Nov 29

Altimeter Built at Goddard Helped Identify Ice on Mercury
NASA GSFC | 2012 Nov 29

Evidence for water ice deposits and organic material on Mercury
University of California, Los Angeles | 2012 Nov 29

New Evidence for Ice on Mercury
NASA Science News | 2012 Nov 29
New Data Show Mercury Almost Certainly Has Buried Ice at Its North Pole
Slate Blogs | Bad Astronomy | 2012 Nov 29

Water ice and organics at Mercury's poles
Planetary Society | Emily Lakdawalla | 2012 Nov 29

Organics Discovered on Mercury
Discovery News | Irene Klotz | 2012 Nov 29

Water Ice and Organics Found at Mercury’s North Pole
Universe Today | Nancy Atkinson | 2012 Nov 29
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by neufer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:58 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
neufer wrote:
The other planets don't really have commonly recognized inhabitant names, but they can be easily created anew:
  • Mercutian
    Uranian,
    Neptunian,
    Plutonian
(yes, I know... then Erisian, Cerean, Haumean, Makemakean...).
And yet, I find no example of "mercutian" being used this way. But there are many examples of "mercurian" in science fiction and fantasy. Given that the vocabulary of English is defined by usage, I'd suggest that there's no need to construct a new word, since one already exists.
  • Indeed :!:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25780/25780-h/25780-h.htm wrote:
Image
Ray Cummings: “The Fire People” (c. 1922)

Professor Newland declared that the curious astronomical phenomena of the previous November—the new "stars" observed, the two meteors that had fallen with their red and green light‑fire—were all evidence of the existence of intelligent life on the planet Mercury: "...The existence of an atmospheric envelope on Mercury, to temper the extremes of heat and cold that would otherwise exist on its light and dark hemispheres, seems fairly certain. If there were no atmosphere on the planet, temperatures on that face toward the sun would be extraordinarily high—many hundred degrees hotter than the boiling point of water. Quite the other extreme would be the conditions on the dark side, for without the sheltering blanket of an atmosphere, this surface must be exposed to the intense cold of interplanetary space.

I have reason to believe, however, particularly from my deductions made in connection with the photographs taken during the transit of Mercury over the face of the sun on November 11 last, that there does exist an atmosphere on this planet—an atmosphere that appears to be denser and more cloudy than our own. I am led to this conclusion by other evidence that has long been fairly generally accepted as fact. The terminating edge of the phases of Mercury is not sharp, but diffuse and shaded—there is here an atmospheric penumbra. The spectroscope also shows lines of absorption, which proves that Mercury has a gaseous envelope thicker than ours. This atmosphere, whatever may be its nature I do not assume, tempers the heat and cold on Mercury to a degree comparable to the earth. But I do believe that it makes the planet—on its dark face particularly—capable of supporting intelligent life of some form...
"
...............................................
Chapter 7. The Mercutians Camp

<<Meanwhile the Mercutians were examining their fallen comrade. He also was dead, I judged from their actions. They left him where he was lying, and their leader impatiently signed me toward the steps that led down from the porch to the roadway. We started off, my guard keeping close behind me. I noticed then how curiously hampered the Mercutians seemed to be in their movements.

I have explained how Alan observed the effect of our earth's gravity on Miela. It was even more marked with the Mercutians here, for she had the assistance of wings, while they did not. The realization of this encouraged me tremendously. I knew now that physically these enemies were no match for me; that I could break away from them whenever I wished.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Cummings wrote:
<<Ray Cummings (byname of Raymond King Cummings; August 30, 1887 – January 23, 1957) was an American author of science fiction, rated one of the "founding fathers of the science fiction pulp genre". He was born in New York and died in Mount Vernon, New York.

Cummings worked with Thomas Edison as a personal assistant and technical writer from 1914 to 1919. His most highly regarded work was the novel The Girl in the Golden Atom published in 1922, which was a consolidation of a short story by the same name published in 1919 and a sequel, The People of the Golden Atom, published in 1920. His career resulted in some 750 novels and short stories, using also the pen names Ray King, Gabrielle Cummings, and Gabriel Wilson.

During the 1940s, with his fiction career in eclipse, Cummings anonymously scripted comic book stories for Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics. He recycled the plot of "The Girl in the Golden Atom," for a two-part Captain America tale, "Princess of the Atom." (Captain America #25 & 26) He also contributed to the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner, which his daughter Betty Cummings also wrote.

Ray Cummings wrote in 1922, "Time... is what keeps everything from happening at once", a sentence repeated by scientists such as C. J. Overbeck, and John Archibald Wheeler.>>
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by THX1138 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:44 pm

Its settled then, if you’re from Mercury’s capital, the city Mercuria. Then you are a Mercurite / Mercuritian :|

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:17 pm

THX1138 wrote:
Its settled then, if you’re from Mercury’s capital, the city Mercuria. Then you are a Mercurite / Mercuritian :|
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Mercury wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. Mercury was a Parsi born in Zanzibar and grew up there and in India until his mid-teens. He has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star". As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range. In addition to his work with Queen, he led a solo career, and also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. He died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease. In 2002, Mercury was placed at number 58 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2006, Time Asia named him one of the most influential Asian heroes of the past 60 years, and he continues to be voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music.>>
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:09 pm

I just read 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson. It takes place in in a heavily settled Solar System, in which all the terrestrial planets, all the moons, and all the large asteroids are occupied. The people living on Mercury (most of whom live in a city called Terminator, which travels on a track keeping it right at the terminator, so it's always dawn) are called Mercurials in this story.
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by neufer » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:12 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
I just read 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson. It takes place in in a heavily settled Solar System, in which all the terrestrial planets, all the moons, and all the large asteroids are occupied. The people living on Mercury (most of whom live in a city called Terminator, which travels on a track keeping it right at the terminator, so it's always dawn) are called Mercurials in this story.
At least we know that Vulcans (e.g., Mr. Spock), if they do exist, are not Mercurials.
------------------------------------------------------------
Mercurial, a. [L. mercurialis, fr. Mercurius Mercury.]

1. Swift; active; sprightly; fickle; volatile; changeable; as, a mercurial youth; a mercurial temperament.

"A mercurial man Who fluttered over all things like a fan." - Byron.
------------------------------------------------------------
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcanoid_asteroid wrote: <<The vulcanoids are a hypothetical population of asteroids that may orbit the Sun in a dynamically stable zone inside the orbit of the planet Mercury. They are named after the hypothetical planet Vulcan, whose existence was disproven in 1915. Nevertheless, there is evidence that Mercury was struck by a large object relatively late in its development, a collision which stripped away much of Mercury's crust and mantle, and explaining the thinness of Mercury's mantle compared to the mantles of the other terrestrial planets. If such an impact occurred, much of the resulting debris might still be orbiting the Sun in the vulcanoid zone. No vulcanoids have yet been discovered, and it is not clear if any exist. Should they be found, vulcanoids may provide scientists with material from the first period of planet formation, as well as insights into the conditions prevalent in the early Solar System.

Vulcanoids would be difficult to detect due to the strong glare of the nearby Sun, and ground-based searches can only be carried out during twilight or during solar eclipses. Several searches during eclipses were conducted in the early 1900s, which did not reveal any vulcanoids, and observations during eclipses remain a common search method. Conventional telescopes cannot be used to search for them because the nearby Sun could damage their optics.

In 1998, astronomers analysed data from the SOHO spacecraft's LASCO instrument, which is a set of three coronagraphs. The data taken between January and May of that year did not show any vulcanoids brighter than magnitude 7. This corresponds to a diameter of about 60 kilometres, assuming the asteroids have an albedo similar to that of Mercury. In particular a large planetoid at a distance of 0.18AU, predicted by the theory of Scale relativity, was ruled out.

Later attempts to detect the vulcanoids involved taking astronomical equipment above the interference of Earth's atmosphere, to heights where the twilight sky is darker and clearer than on the ground. In 2000, planetary scientist Alan Stern performed surveys of the vulcanoid zone using a Lockheed U-2 spy plane. The flights were conducted at a height of 21,300 metres during twilight. In 2002, he and Dan Durda performed similar observations on an F-18 fighter jet. They made three flights over the Mojave desert at an altitude of 15,000 metres and made observations with the Southwest Universal Imaging System—Airborne (SWUIS-A). Even at these heights the atmosphere is still present and able to interfere with vulcanoid searches. In 2004, a sub-orbital spaceflight was attempted in order to get a camera above Earth's atmosphere. A Black Brant rocket was launched from White Sands, New Mexico, on January 16, carrying a powerful camera named VulCam, on a ten-minute flight. This flight reached an altitude of 274,000 metres and took over 50,000 images. Due to technical problems, none of the images were able to reveal any vulcanoids.

Searches of NASA's two STEREO spacecraft data have failed to detect any vulcanoid asteroids. It is doubtful that there are any vulcanoids larger than 5.7 kilometres in diameter. The MESSENGER space probe may provide evidence regarding vulcanoids. Its opportunities will be limited because its instruments need to be pointed away from the Sun at all times to avoid damage. The spacecraft has already taken a few of a planned series of images of the outer regions of the vulcanoid zone.

The vulcanoids are thought to exist in a gravitationally stable band inside the orbit of Mercury, at distances of 0.06–0.21 AU from the Sun. All other similarly stable regions in the Solar System have been found to contain objects, although non-gravitational forces such as radiation pressure, Poynting–Robertson drag and the Yarkovsky effect may have depleted the vulcanoid area of its original contents. There may be no more than 300–900 vulcanoids larger than 1 kilometre in radius remaining, if any. The gravitational stability of the vulcanoid zone is due in part to the fact that there is only one neighbouring planet. In that respect it can be compared to the Kuiper belt. The outer edge of the vulcanoid zone is approximately 0.21 AU from the Sun. More distant objects are unstable due to the gravitational influence of Mercury and would be perturbed into Mercury-crossing orbits on timescales of the order of 100 million years. The inner edge is not sharply defined: objects closer than 0.06 AU are highly susceptible to Poynting–Robertson drag and the Yarkovsky effect, and even out to 0.09 AU vulcanoids would have temperatures of 1,000 K or more, which is hot enough for evaporation of rocks to be the limiting factor in their lifetime. The volume of the vulcanoid zone is very small compared to that of the asteroid belt. Collisions between objects in the vulcanoid zone would be frequent and highly energetic, tending to lead to the destruction of the objects. The most favourable location for vulcanoids is probably in circular orbits near the outer edge of the vulcanoid zone. Vulcanoids are unlikely to have inclinations of more than about 10° to the ecliptic. Mercury trojans, asteroids trapped in Mercury's Lagrange points, are also possible.

Any vulcanoids that exist must be relatively small. Previous searches, particularly from the STEREO spacecrafts, rule out asteroids larger than 6 kilometres in diameter. The minimum size is about 100 metres; particles smaller than 0.2 μm are strongly repulsed by radiation pressure, and objects smaller than 70 m would be drawn into the Sun by Poynting–Robertson drag. Between these upper and lower limits, a population of asteroids between 1 kilometre and 25 kilometres in diameter is thought to be possible. They would be almost hot enough (~1350K at the subsolar point) to glow red hot.

It is believed that the vulcanoids would be very rich in elements with a high melting point, such as iron and nickel. They are unlikely to possess a regolith because such fragmented material heats and cools more rapidly, and is affected more strongly by the Yarkovsky effect, than solid rock. Vulcanoids are probably similar to Mercury in colour and albedo, and may contain material left over from the earliest stages of the Solar System's formation.

Vulcanoids, being an entirely new class of celestial bodies, would be interesting in their own right, but discovering whether or not they exist would yield insights into the formation and evolution of the Solar System. If they exist they might contain material left over from the earliest period of planet formation, and help determine the conditions under which the terrestrial planets, particularly Mercury, formed. In particular, if vulcanoids exist or did exist in the past, they would represent an additional population of impactors that have affected no other planet but Mercury, making that planet's surface appear older than it actually is. If vulcanoids are found not to exist, this would place different constraints on planet formation and suggest that other processes have been at work in the inner Solar System, such as planetary migration clearing out the area.>>
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by THX1138 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:24 pm

There are no planed missions to land a probe on its north pole ???

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by neufer » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:51 pm

THX1138 wrote:
There are no planed missions to land a probe on its north pole ???
It would be far easier both energy wise & logistics wise
to send a probe to land on the south polar ice fields of our Moon:

4.25 km/s : Mercury Escape velocity
2.38 km/s : Lunar Escape velocity
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:02 pm

neufer wrote:
THX1138 wrote:
There are no planed missions to land a probe on its north pole ???
It would be far easier both energy wise & logistics wise
to send a probe to land on the south polar ice fields of our Moon:

4.25 km/s : Mercury Escape velocity
2.38 km/s : Lunar Escape velocity
Actually, the problem with getting onto Mercury isn't so much its own escape velocity, but the solar escape velocity at Mercury's orbit: 68 km/s (compared with 42 km/s at the Earth/Moon). This very large delta-V is difficult to manage, and makes simply getting to Mercury a challenge compared with getting to other planets (beyond Jupiter, the delta-V gets even larger, but the opportunities for complex slingshot orbits are richer, as well.)
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Beyond » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:00 pm

SPACE... It's a complicated thing. :rocketship: :yes:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by neufer » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:57 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
neufer wrote:
THX1138 wrote:
There are no planned missions to land a probe on its north pole ???
It would be far easier both energy wise & logistics wise
to send a probe to land on the south polar ice fields of our Moon:

4.25 km/s : Mercury Escape velocity
2.38 km/s : Lunar Escape velocity
Actually, the problem with getting onto Mercury isn't so much its own escape velocity, but the solar escape velocity at Mercury's orbit: 68 km/s (compared with 42 km/s at the Earth/Moon). This very large delta-V is difficult to manage, and makes simply getting to Mercury a challenge compared with getting to other planets (beyond Jupiter, the delta-V gets even larger, but the opportunities for complex slingshot orbits are richer, as well.)
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:39 am

neufer wrote:Given enough patience one can utilize (Earth/Venus/Mercury) flyby
maneuvers in combination with solar powered ion rockets to go from
low Earth orbit to low Mercury orbit with minimal fuel expenditures.
Yup, getting to Mercury efficiently takes a very long time. Getting to Mars is much easier, despite the fact that Mars is, for the most part, more distant.

In space flight, patience is a virtue.
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by THX1138 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:44 pm

Mercury’s gravitational attraction + the fact that it’s closer to our sun changes the whole ball game as it were. It makes perfect sense though I never even considered the sun in the equation :? (why would I want to do that) thanks for explaining that with showing the escape velocity difference Chris .
Neufer two years to mars but leaving earth in 2004 and landing on Mercury in 2011 / seven years! A little patients? I can’t help but wonder if you copied and pasted that trajectory or if you took the time to figure it out and draw that plan yourself, in any event thanks that’s just way out. Then lastly Beyond, no joke space sure the hell is a real complicated thing, perfect comment you’ve got there.

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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by THX1138 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:53 am

With the many millions of dollars its taken to send a probe to Pluto and beyond why not send a probe to the south pole of Mercury, who cares if it's easier to land a probe in any ice fields on our moon, theres no atmosphere. If there is some goldilocks zone where water is in a liquid state where better to look for life than there.
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Re: Ice on Mercury

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:21 am

THX1138 wrote:With the many millions of dollars its taken to send a probe to Pluto and beyond why not send a probe to the south pole of Mercury, who cares if it's easier to land a probe in any ice fields on our moon, theres no atmosphere. If there is some goldilocks zone where water is in a liquid state where better to look for life than there.
Mercury is really hard to get to. And there's no atmosphere there, either, so any water has to be in ice form, not liquid. And Mercury probably doesn't have a very stable axial tilt over long periods, so even if there's a goldilocks zone in terms of temperature, I doubt it would be around long enough to allow for the development and evolution of life.

There are lots of reasons to study Mercury, but looking for life probably isn't one of them.
Chris

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Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com