interesting facts about Mercury: The Basics

Mercury Facts 20 Interesting facts about planet Mercury

interesting facts about Mercury. The Basics With a diameter of 4,876 kilometers, Mercury is only slightly bigger than our moon! Apart from its size, its surface looks very similar to it. Actually, it shows extensive moon-like basaltic plains that are created by volcanic eruptions, heavy cratering, wrinkle ridges, mountains, hills, and even valleys. As it is the smallest and closest planet to the Sun, it is quite difficult to observe Mercury from Earth. The planet can be viewed for a short time during the morning and evening twilight. It was first observed in the 14th century BC by an Assyrian astronomer.

Thin Exosphere Mercury

Thin Exosphere Mercury is completely devoid of any sort of atmosphere. Instead, it has a thin exosphere. There is no such thing as air, wind, weather or water. Astronomers have a theory that if they dig deep enough, They might find some evidence of trapped air or water, but no one has been able to accomplish this feat yet.

interesting facts about Mercury: Ice It sounds

Ice It sounds unbelievable when you find out that that there is ice on Mercury! Even though it has close proximity to the sun, its surface faces extreme temperature fluctuations. During the daytime, Mercury is boiling and sizzling, with the temperature reaching over 426 degrees Celsius, but as soon as the sun goes down, the temperature drops down to -180 Degrees Celsius. Despite being the closest planet to the sun, even Venus is hotter than Mercury!

Man-made Crater

Man-made Crater It looks as if humans can’t resist but dig holes even in space! In 2014, NASA MESSENGER probe exhausted its supply of fuel and crashed on to the surface of Mercury at the speed of over 8000 mph. The crash resulted in a massive crater over 50 ft. wide! It is the biggest man-made craters ever created in the universe. Well, we are not really counting Earth for obvious reasons. Besides badly injuring the surface of Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER probe successfully mapped the entire surface of the planet. It had been orbiting around it since 2011 and recorded a number of gorgeous images.

interesting facts about Mercury: Name Origins

Name Origins The ancient Romans named the planet after a Roman messenger god known as Mercury. He was the patron god well known for his swift-footedness, eloquence and wealth.

Interesting facts about Mercury: It stinks

It stinks… Probably As it has no permanent atmosphere, Mercury cannot retain gases. There is no lovely weather and oxygen like we have on Earth. However, its magnetic field is super strong and it holds on to plenty of ions. The end result is that there is a lot of stinky hydrogen sulfide as well as other strange-smelling ions floating around its exosphere. Nobody has been unfortunate enough to experience it, but scientists have concluded that Mercury smells just like burps and farts.

Day and Years: interesting facts about Mercury

Day and Years If you had paid attention in grade school. You would have remembered that orbiting around the sun causes years and rotation on the planet’s own axis causes days. Mercury rotates around its own axis very lazily, but orbits around the sun rather quickly. To sum it up, a day in Mercury lasts two Mercurian years. If we compare it with Earth, one Mercurian year is 116 days long. However, since Mercury has no calendars, days and years don’t really matter there.

Iron Mercury

Iron Mercury’s core contains the largest amount of iron in the Solar System. The most accepted theory to explain the high iron content is that. The planet was probably struck by a planetesimal object. That stripped off Mercury original crust and mantle and left behind the huge iron core.

Mercury Tails

Mercury Tails We are not joking! Scientists have observed that Mercury sheds off narrow rivers, or ‘tails’, of particles off its surface. While scientists have not been able to figure out the mystery, the most accepted theory is that the tails are formed due to strong solar wind and Mercury’s rich magnetosphere.

Volcanoes Mercury

Volcanoes Mercury used to have volcanoes! According to NASA and images recorded by MESSENGER probe, Mercury has shown evidence pyroclastic flow, surface deposits, and a volcanic complex system. Thus, it is widely accepted that it is mostly blanketed with dried lava.


Interesting facts Mercury For kids: The Naming of Mercury

The Naming of Mercury If you’ve been following our journey through the solar system, you have likely picked up on a common trend when it comes to naming the planets. Observed long before the age of telescopes, it’s difficult to pinpoint who first saw this speeding planet, with mentions of it going as far back as the Late Archaic period, between 2000 and 1001 BCE. During that time, the Babylonians named the planet, Nabu. Due to Mercury’s rapid orbit around the sun, Ancient Greeks gave the planet two names Apollo, when it was visible in the morning and Hermes, at night.

The Tiniest of Planets

The Tiniest of Planets We’ve covered 9 planets in the solar system and it was found that one of them would wind up being the smallest. With a diameter of 3,032 miles or 4,879 kilometers, the swift planet is 38% the size of Earth and comes in at 83,850 miles or 134,943 kilometers smaller than the solar systems largest planet, Jupiter. Since Mercury is so small and its mass is encased in such a tiny space, the planet is 98% the density of Earth, making it the second densest planet in the system.

Mercury Orbital

Mercurys Orbital Pattern We briefly touched on Mercury’s rapid orbit around the sun, but seeing as how its a rather stand-out trait, it deserves more than just a passing glance. Spending just under 88 days on Earth is the equivalent of one orbital period on Mercury, and though it was originally believed that Mercury had a 1:1 ratio of rotations per orbit, Einsteins General Theory of Relativity showed a different light. Mercury is now known to have a spin-orbit resonance or direct correlation between orbital and rotational periods and experiences 3 rotations per 2 orbits around the Sun. Mercurys orbit also bears an eccentricity of .206, making it the 2nd most eccentric, or most elliptical planet, behind Pluto.

Your Life on Mercury

Your Life on Mercury Its always fun to muse what your life would be like on another planet, if you were born in 1993, as of 2016, you would be quite the elder at just under 94 years old, though you would have only lived 141 Mercurian days. If weight is your concern, you may fall in love with Mercury’s gravitational pull, as a person weighing 200 pounds or 90 kilograms is going to enjoy seeing 75 pounds or 34 kilograms pop up on the scale.

Mercury Crust

Mercury Crust, Mantle, and Core Mercury most exterior layer is the crust. Falling somewhere within a thickness of 60 to 185 miles or 100 to 300 kilometers. Making Earth puny 20 to 30 mile or 30 to 50-kilometer crust seem flimsy. Beneath that, though, the mantle of Mercury is considerably smaller than our home planet. Coming in at 372 miles or 600 kilometers thick compared to Earths 1,802-mile or 2,900-kilometer thickness. It is believed that the Swift Planet mantle was once much thicker and a great portion of it was lost during the formation of the Solar System.

The Surface of Mercury

As we can feel with earthquakes, the crust of Earth is made up of several plate tectonics that floats along the mantle. As these plates move over time, they can drastically alter the surface of the planet. Mercury is without these tectonic movements and, therefore, hasn’t experienced the same change in outward appearance as our home world. A visual of Mercury’s surface will show a speckling of impact craters all over, some of which are well preserved and believed to be billions of years old.

Mercury Atmosphere

Mercurys Atmosphere, or lack thereof, is a unique feature to this tiny space-rock. Where most planets are surrounded by a steady atmosphere Mercury small size and a weak gravitational pull makes. It is nearly impossible to keep a normal atmosphere. The thin layer that is swept away by solar winds is made up of traces of hydrogen. Helium, oxygen, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A lack of any sustainable atmosphere is responsible for Mercury strange fluctuation in temperature. Which can range from -280° to 800° F or -173° to 427° C. In regards to temperature, the atmosphere acts as a sort of blockade that prevents heat from escaping easily. Often causing higher temperatures on the surface. Without this barrier, heat is able to escape, leading to extremely low temperatures.

Visiting Mercury

Visiting Mercury Mercury proximity to the sun and large fluctuation in surface temperature may not seem like a problem to us here on Earth, but these two factors are direct reasons why there have only been two missions that have been able to perform flybys of the Swift Planet. 1973, 03, November, NASA launched Mariner 10 to fly past Mercury and Venus. On March 29th, 1974, the vessel came within 436 miles or 703 kilometers of the planets surface, flying by two more times over the next year and mapping approximately 45% of Mercury’s surface. In 2004, NASA sent MESSENGER to take higher resolution photos of the surface, succeeding with four flybys over the course of three years. In 2018, the ESA and JAXA will be launching BepiColombo to continue monitoring the tiniest planet.

Mercury as an Element: interesting facts about Mercury

Mercury as an Element The element of Mercury wasn’t named for an overabundance of it found on the planet. Though it does have a small connection with the small body. Mercury also is known as quicksilver is a fast-moving liquid element which was given. Its name due to its speedy property much like the planet. Quicksilver remains the only metal still referenced by the alchemical planetary name and shares. An alchemical symbol with the astrological symbol for the planet Mercury. The element is known to be very toxic and for years had been used in common household objects like thermometers, black lights, and had also been used – along with silver and tin – to create an amalgam used to fill decayed teeth.

Planet Vulcan Being

Planet Vulcan Being as vast as it is, it’s difficult to map out the entirety of the solar system, especially without the equipment astrologists have access to today. That’s partially why, during the 19th century, there was believed to be another planet tucked between Mercury and the Sun. French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier noted irregularities to Mercurys orbit and dedicated. The remainder of his life to studying the planet that had since been named Vulcan. Mercurys orbit has a slight wobble to it, one that neither Earth nor Venus could be responsible for, leading to the hypothesis of planet Vulcan. Excitement over planet Vulcan eventually died down with Einsteins General Theory of Relativity, which, in short, explains the wobble.

 

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