27 Jan 2019

Mercury: world of ice and fire

Mercury: world of ice and fire

Mercury

Our solar system how beautiful it is, it consists of Sun, Planets, natural satellites, asteroids, and many more. If we talk about planets then they are eight right now, because Pluto is no more considered as a planet. As we know life is only possible on Earth among them all. If we talk in respect to the distance from the sun then mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.

Physical characteristics of mercury

As we know Mercury is innermost planet, so it’s surface temperature range between 100k to 700k (-172℃  to 427℃  ), a temperature swing of more than 1,100 degrees F (600 degree C), the greatest in the solar system.

Mercury is orbiting the sun at an average distance of 58 million kilometres. Because mercury is closest planet to sun, it moves faster than any other planet at an average 48 kilometres per second.
Solar system

If we talk about its size it is slightly bigger than Earths moon. Its equilateral radius is 2439.7km which is even smaller than the biggest moon of our solar system, Titan and Ganymede.

If we compare on the basis of density Mercury is second densest planet after Earth. Planet Mercury has huge metallic core of about 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 km) wide, or about 75 percent of the planet's diameter.

If we talk about its atmospheric, then according to NASA atmosphere of Mercury is surface bounded exosphere almost vacuum. Its atmosphere generally consists of Helium, Hydrogen, Oxygen, potassium, Sodium, with possible trace amount of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton and neon.
Gas composition of Mercury atmosphere

As our Earth takes 365 days to complete one revolution around the sun but in the case of Mercury it takes just 88 days. But, if we see rotation time then it is 59 Earth days.

Some interesting facts about Mercury

1. As we know temperature of Mercury is very high, so we can never think about presence of ice on Mercury. But, it is true that ice is present on the Mercury, on that portion which never face the sun and never got sunlight.
Mercury: the planet of ice

2. As like as presence of ice, Organics the building blocks of life is also present. But even though we cant think about life there because Mercury has not enough atmosphere for life.

3. Mercury has atmosphere that changes with its distance to the sun. Yes, it is true that its atmosphere changes. Mercury has very thin atmosphere known as exosphere. Scientists have detected calcium, sodium and magnesium in it—all elements that appear to change in concentration as the planet gets closer and further from the Sun in its orbit.
Crust of Mercury
The changes appear to be linked to how much solar radiation pressure falls on the planet.

4. As similar to change in temperature at different distances from sun, Mercury’s magnetic field is different at both poles. Yes, even the magnetic field is different. And the magnetic field is just 1% weaker than of the earth.

5. As we all know that maximum of planets in our solar system have moons or rings. But, Mercury and Venus are the exceptions which have no moons or rings.

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