10 characteristics of MERCURY

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and it is also the smallest of the eight planets in our solar system. For every 2 orbits of the Sun, which take about 88 Earth days, Mercury completes three rotations of its axis. It is gravitationally locked, and this rotation is unique to the solar system.

Every seven years or so, Mercury can be seen from Earth passing across the face of the Sun.. This happens because Mercury's orbit is tilted 7 degrees toward the plane of Earth's orbit and is known as a transit. The next transit of Mercury is on May 9, 2016 and will be visible from Europe after noon.

It is named after the Roman god Mercury, the messenger of the gods., most likely related to the orbital velocity of the planet. Mercury has been known to mankind since ancient times and although its date of discovery is unknown, it is believed that the first mentions of the planet were around 3000 BC by the Sumerians.

Astronomers did not realize Mercury was a planet until 1543 when Copernicus published his Sun-centered model of the Solar System, placing the Sun as the center of the solar system instead of the previously believed center, Earth.

characteristics of the planet mercury

Most relevant MERCURY characteristics

  1. A year on Mercury is 88 days., but a Mercury day is 176 Earth days. Mercury is nearly tidally locked to the Sun, also known as a gravitational lock, and over time this has slowed the planet's rotation to nearly matching its orbit around the Sun. Mercury is the only planet that does not rotate exactly once a year, rather, it rotates three times for every two orbits of the Sun. This is because it is nearly tidally locked to the Sun. Mercury's orbit was important in testing Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
  2. Mercury orbits so fast around the sun that the first civilizations believed that they were actually two different stars, one that appeared in the morning and one that appeared in the afternoon.
  3. Mercury It is the smallest planet in the solar system with a diameter of 4,879 km and is one of the five planets that is visible to the naked eye.
  4. After Earth, Mercury is the second densest planet. Despite its small size, Mercury is very dense because it is composed mainly of heavy metals and rocks, the main characteristic of terrestrial planets.
  5. The planet has only 38% of the gravity on Earth. This means that Mercury is not able to maintain the atmosphere it does have and is instead blown around by the solar winds. However, those same solar winds are also bringing new gases, radioactive decay, and micrometeor dust, which replenish the atmosphere. Mercury has a weak magnetic field whose strength is about 1% of the magnetic field on Earth.

  6. Mercury it has no moons or rings due to its low gravity and lack of atmosphere. A planet called Vulcan was once believed to exist between the orbit of Mercury and the Sun, however the existence of such a planet was never found.
  7. Mercury's orbit is an ellipse instead of circular. It has the most eccentric orbit in the solar system and the least circular of all the planets, according to scientists and astronomers.
  8. Mercury it is the second hottest planet. Venus, although it is farther from the Sun than Mercury, actually experiences higher temperatures. This is because Mercury has no atmosphere to regulate temperature and produces the most extreme temperature swing of any planet, ranging from -170°C (-280°F) overnight to 430°C (800°F). ) during the day . Mercury does not experience any seasons. Mercury's axis has the smallest tilt of all the other planets, and this results in a lack of seasons on its surface.
  9. Mercury has a large iron core that is about 40% of its volume (compared to a central volume of 17% for Earth) at its center, whose radius is 1,800 to 1,900 kilometers (1,100 to 1,180 miles). Scientists believe that Mercury's core is probably molten. Mercury's outer shell is only 500 to 600 kilometers (310 to 375 miles) thick. Earth's outer layer (mantle and crust) is 2,930 kilometers (1,819 miles) thick. Mercury has a very thin atmosphere, which is made up of atoms from the planet's surface that have been blown away by solar winds. Because Mercury is so hot, these atoms quickly escape into space, so its atmosphere is constantly replenished.
  10. Mercury has more craters and impact marks than any other planet. The surface is similar to that of the Moon, since unlike most planets, Mercury is not geologically active and cannot "heal itself" from impacts with asteroids and comets. Most of Mercury's craters are named after famous writers and artists. If a crater is larger than 250 km in diameter, it is known as a Basin. The largest basin on Mercury, the Caloris basin, is about 1,550 km in diameter and was discovered by Mariner 10

Only two spacecraft have visited Mercury. The planet is difficult to reach due to its proximity to the Sun and any visiting spacecraft would have to travel 91 million kilometers into the Sun's gravitational well. Mariner 10 visited during 1974-75, flying past Mercury three times and mapping half of its surface. On March 24, 1975, it ran out of fuel and is still believed to be in orbit around the Sun. The MESSENGER probe was launched in 2004 to explore Mercury's high density, its geological history, the nature of its magnetic field, and more. Another mission, BepiColombo, will be launched in 2015 by the European Space Agency and Japan is expected to reach Mercury in 2019.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of MERCURY, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-mercury/ (Consultado el: 22-09-2023)

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