Warning: Looking directly at the Sun, either during the transit or at any other time, can cause permanent damage to the retina, leading to loss of vision or blindness.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. It completes each orbit around our nearest star in just 88 days, and its distance from the Sun varies from 46 to almost 70 million km. (For comparison, the Earth is at a distance of 150 million km.)

PIA14250 smallA 2011 image of Mercury, seen as a crescent by the MESSENGER spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Click for a full size image

The smallest planet in the Solar System, Mercury is just 4900 km across, or about 40% the size of the Earth. As a result, its gravitational field is too weak to hold on to a significant atmosphere, so its surface has little protection from incoming meteorites. The result is a pockmarked, cratered landscape that looks rather like our Moon. Mercury also has a global magnetic field, the result of a large iron core, and is as dense as the Earth.

Mercury also rotates very slowly, taking about 59 days to turn once with respect to the stars (the so-called sidereal day). Its fast motion around the Sun means that a solar day (the time from one ‘noon’ to the next) is 176 Earth days, or 2 mercurian years. With no atmosphere and weather, Mercury also experiences extremes of temperature, with a typical point on the equator at a torrid 430 degrees Celsius during the day, falling to a decidedly frigid -160 degrees Celsius at night.

Intriguingly the smallest planet has deep craters near its poles that never receive sunlight, so are amongst the coldest places in the Solar System. Radar measurements suggest they contain large amounts of water ice, probably delivered by comets and meteorites that collided with the planet over millions of years.

From Earth, Mercury looks small, and telescopes struggle to show much detail, though astronomers have tried to make simple maps. The planet is always fairly close to the Sun in the sky, and particularly in the northern hemisphere we only ever get to see it in morning or evening twilight. Along with Venus, it shows phases like those of the Moon that change as it moves around the Sun.

PIA19411 smallA MESSENGER image of Mercury's north polar region. The yellow regions in many of the craters mark locations that show evidence for water ice. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Click for a full size imageBecause it is so hard to study from the Earth, most of what we know about Mercury comes from space probes. The NASA Mariner 10 spacecraft was the first to visit the planet, making three separate flybys in 1974 and 1975. More than 30 years passed until the next mission, the NASA MESSENGER probe, which mapped the whole world for the first time and confirmed the presence of water ice.

2017 will see the launch of the joint European Space Agency / Japanese mission, BepiColombo, set to arrive at Mercury after a 7-year journey. On arrival, it will separate into two orbiters, one making images and taking spectra of the planet to study its composition, and the other concentrating on Mercury’s magnetic field and its surroundings. Working closely with European partners, UK research groups at the Open University and the University of Leicester are building three of the instruments for the mission.

 

 Want to know more about the planet Mercury?

Check out this amazing video by astronomer Phil Plait (part of the Astronomy 101 series) to find out everything you need to know!

Comments   

ValeraSPt
0 # ValeraSPt 2018-08-06 22:27
.





------> START MAKE BITCOIN NOW!! START MAKE BITCOIN NOW!! START MAKE BITCOIN NOW!!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
BestMadeleine
0 # BestMadeleine 2018-10-19 17:05
I see you don't monetize your page, don't waste your traffic, you can earn extra bucks every
month. You can use the best adsense alternative for any type
of website (they approve all websites), for more info simply search in gooogle: boorfe's tips
monetize your website
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
BestLatia
0 # BestLatia 2018-10-23 05:59
I see you don't monetize your page, don't waste your traffic, you can earn additional cash every month.
You can use the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve all websites),
for more info simply search in gooogle: boorfe's tips monetize
your website
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
AdriannaJuicy
0 # AdriannaJuicy 2018-10-31 09:27
Hello. I see that you don't update your page too often. I know that writing articles
is boring and time consuming. But did you know that there is
a tool that allows you to create new posts using existing
content (from article directories or other pages from your
niche)? And it does it very well. The new posts are high quality and pass the copyscape test.
Search in google and try: miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
BestEvan
0 # BestEvan 2018-11-04 06:53
I see you don't monetize your blog, don't waste your traffic,
you can earn additional bucks every month. You can use the best adsense
alternative for any type of website (they approve all
websites), for more details simply search in gooogle:
boorfe's tips monetize your website
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
918 Kiss
0 # 918 Kiss 2018-11-11 17:22
I'm not positive where you're getting your info, but great
topic. I must spend a while finding out much more or figuring out
more. Thanks for magnificent information I used to be in search of this information for my mission.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
BetseyJuicy
0 # BetseyJuicy 2018-11-13 21:52
Hello. I see that you don't update your page too often. I know that writing posts is time consuming and boring.
But did you know that there is a tool that allows you to create new articles
using existing content (from article directories or other pages from your niche)?
And it does it very well. The new posts are unique and
pass the copyscape test. Search in google and try: miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
JeannineJuicy
0 # JeannineJuicy 2018-11-15 07:51
Hello. I see that you don't update your site too often. I know
that writing articles is time consuming and boring. But did you know
that there is a tool that allows you to create new articles using existing content (from article directories or
other blogs from your niche)? And it does
it very well. The new articles are high quality and pass the copyscape test.
Search in google and try: miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
IndianaJuicy
0 # IndianaJuicy 2018-11-16 02:33
Hi. I see that you don't update your page too often. I know that writing content is time consuming and boring.
But did you know that there is a tool that allows you
to create new articles using existing content (from article directories or other websites from your niche)?
And it does it very well. The new articles are high
quality and pass the copyscape test. Search in google
and try: miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
918Kiss Login
0 # 918Kiss Login 2018-11-18 11:05
Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of.
I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries
that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could
take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.
Thanks
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
JenniferJuicy
0 # JenniferJuicy 2018-11-19 01:13
Hello. I see that you don't update your page too often. I know that writing articles is boring and time consuming.
But did you know that there is a tool that
allows you to create new articles using existing
content (from article directories or other pages from your niche)?
And it does it very well. The new posts are high quality
and pass the copyscape test. Search in google and try:
miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
918Kiss Login
0 # 918Kiss Login 2018-11-19 06:08
Hi there, this weekend is nice designed for
me, for the reason that this moment i am reading this great educational piece of writing here at
my home.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
918Kiss download
0 # 918Kiss download 2018-11-21 19:05
Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Going through this
post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this.
I will forward this information to him. Fairly certain he'll
have a great read. Thank you for sharing!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
BestShirley
0 # BestShirley 2018-11-21 19:48
I have noticed you don't monetize your blog, don't waste your traffic, you
can earn extra cash every month. You can use the best adsense alternative for any
type of website (they approve all websites),
for more details simply search in gooogle: boorfe's tips monetize your website
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
Merrill
0 # Merrill 2018-11-28 09:37
Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person's blog link on your page at proper place and other person will also do same in support of you.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
HassanJuicy
0 # HassanJuicy 2018-11-29 06:15
Hi. I see that you don't update your page too often. I know that
writing posts is time consuming and boring. But did you know that there is a tool that allows you to create
new articles using existing content (from article directories or other
blogs from your niche)? And it does it very
well. The new articles are unique and pass the copyscape
test. Search in google and try: miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
ntc33 download
0 # ntc33 download 2018-11-30 04:22
You need to take part in a contest for one of the finest websites on the web.
I will recommend this blog!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
Sadie
0 # Sadie 2018-12-02 04:10
Great article.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
MarquisBig
0 # MarquisBig 2018-12-10 02:48
Hello. I have checked your ras.ac.uk and i see you've got some duplicate content
so probably it is the reason that you don't rank high
in google. But you can fix this issue fast. There is a tool that generates content like human, just search in google: miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
BernadineBig
0 # BernadineBig 2018-12-13 08:07
Hi. I have checked your ras.ac.uk and i see you've got some duplicate content so probably it is the reason that you don't rank high in google.
But you can fix this issue fast. There is a tool that rewrites content like human, just search in google:
miftolo's tools
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
playboy888
0 # playboy888 2018-12-13 16:01
This paragraph will assist the internet visitors for creating new weblog or even a weblog
from start to end.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment


Security code
Refresh