Friday, January 7, 2011



The Roman’s named and discovered the planet Mercury. They named it after the roman god Mercury, Mercury was messenger. No one knows the exact date of the discovery of Mercury…. But it was discovered around 5,000 year ago.


Mercury is terrestrial planets that is 2439 km (1524 mi), is radius. The surface of Mercury is a crated terrain with smooth plains and many deep craters very similar to the earth’s moon. The craters formed when meteors or small comets crashed into the planet. Radar scans from earth indicate that craters at Mercury's poles contain water ice. The floors of the crater never get any sunlight, so the temperature never gets high enough to melt the ice. Little is still known about the interior core of mercury though it is believed to be hot and fluid like.


Mercury was originally believed to have no atmosphere. Scientists now think one exists, albeit a very scanty one--it exerts a pressure one million
billionths that of Earth. Believed atmospheric composition: 42% oxygen, 29% sodium, 22% hydrogen, 6% helium, 0.5% potassium. Possible trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton, and neon may exist. These gases are generally diffused from the surface of the the planet. One reason for the weakness of Mercury's atmosphere may be the solar winds which the planet is exposed to. When gases are ionized by solar radiation, they are lost to the atmosphere through the interaction of the atmosphere through the interaction of the planet's magnetic field with the solar wind


Mercury has an oval shaped orbit around the sun. At its closet point it is about 46 million km (28.58 million miles) from the Sun, but at its farthest point it is 70 million km. Mercury is about 77.3 million km (48 million miles) from Earth at its closest approach. Mercury is the fastest moving planet that orbits the sun. It travels about 48 km (30 miles) per second and it takes 88 Earth days to orbit the sun.

With the execption os Venues, Mercury is the slowest rotating plant. The planet's slow rotation on its axis and rapid movement around the sun, a day on Mercury lasts 176 Earth days.


Little was known about Mercury until the Mariner 10 spacecraft took the first close up of Mercury in 1974. Today, the MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft is set to go into orbit around Mercury in March 2011. MESSENGER will measure the planet's gravity and its magnetic field, that will help us learn more of Mercury’s interior. MESSENGER will also explore the composition of the materials on Mercury's surface, which will help us understand the formation and history of this small planet.


Diameter- 4,878km, Average distance from the sun-58 million km, mass- 3.30e23 kg, surface gravity-3.7 m/s², temperature-179c, length of sidereal day-350 sidereal days, Length of sidereal year-87.97 days, Numbers of observed moons-0

No comments:

Post a Comment