Mercury, named for the Roman messenger god, is the closest planet to the sun. It’s also the smallest planet in this solar system. It’s one Terrestrial Planet. For the scorching sun, most of the time, Mercury is unable to be watched. Down & twilight are the perfect times to see it. Today, askerweb.com is here to tell you 10 interesting facts about the planet Mercury, this cool facts about mercury are the unique characteristics of mercury, I mean what makes mercury unique. This article also will cover the facts about mercury for kids.
Let’s start, coolest interesting facts about the planet Mercury :
1. In the Mercury, one day= two years:
As Mercury is the closest planet, naturally, its orbit is the smallest in the solar system. So, among all planets, Mercury takes the least time to complete around the sun, which is 88 days, i.e. one year in Mercury = 88 days. Due to some reason, Neptune, being the farthest planet, takes the most time to zip around the sun. However, Mercury takes 58.65 days to complete a round around its own axis. But, interesting facts about Mercury are the difference between one sunrise and one sunset is 176 days, i.e. half-day is equal to one year in Mercury. Wow! This is one of the coolest facts about Mercury.
2. Crazy and the most extreme temperature fluctuation in the solar system:
The largest temperature fluctuation (almost 600C temperature swing) in the solar system is on the planet, Mercury. Though it’s the closest planet, there is ice on that planet (unbelievable!), there can be -173C (extremely cold) in the night of the Mercury, where it can be 425C in the day. At that time, Mercury seems to be the second hottest planet. No other planet experiences such a wide range of temperatures. This type of fluctuation is due to the absence of a stable atmosphere, which can handle this swing. Here the atmosphere is very very unstable & thin. Mercury’s atmosphere was analyzed by an ultraviolet spectrometer onboard the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974. Oxygen, helium, and hydrogen were detected in this way, and subsequently, atmospheric sodium, potassium, and calcium have been detected by Earth-based telescopes. the atmospheric gases become much denser at night. the hydrogen & helium being very light are constantly escaping the atmosphere, due to its low Gravitational force. So if you want to know the interesting facts about mercury element & their percentage see below.
3. Caloris Basin is the largest crater on the Mercury;
Due to the collision with other asteroids & meteors, there create many large holes like volcanoes on this planet, which are called craters. Among them, Caloris Basin is the largest (1550 KM width & 2 KM depth) crater with ridges and fractures & mountains at its edge. There are numerous encounters with asteroids and comets, what was the cause of the caloris basin. The explosion which created Caloris Basin gave shocks through the planet, which creates many irregular hills & terrains at the opposite side of Mercury. Chaotic Terrain is a strong example. The craters discovered With the help of the American Mariner probe are lying in some regions Bakh, Bithophen, Vagnar, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, e.t.c. They all are named after the writers, composers, or artists. Caloris Basin is under the Shakespear region. There are other craters in this region. Brahms crater, Degas crater, Bach crater are popular among them. When there is a bright, smaller crater beside a larger, older crater, the smaller one is called “Kuiper Crater”. “Chao meng fu” is another important crater, situated at the south pole of the Mercury. However, the temperature in the South pole of Mercury is frozen, because it gets very little sunlight. Rameau crater is another important crater, named after French composer Jean Philippe Rameau. Learn more about the full list of the craters on Mercury. However, you should know that Mercury is the most cratered planet in the solar system.
4. Mercury has long wrinkles:
On the surface of the Mercury, sometimes, wrinkles can be seen, which Scientists have named Lobate Scraps. This is due to the cooling & contraction of the iron core for years. However, these wrinkles can be many miles long.
Almost due to the same reason as the crater, there is an escarpment on the Mercury, which was named Discovery Rupes scrap, discovered by Mariner 10 & named after HMS Discovery, the ship owned by explorer James Cook. The scarp Discovery Rupes cuts across Rameau crater. This scrap is under the Renoir region.
6. The Escape Velocity of Mercury is only just 4.25 K.M./ second:
Mercury is very small, about 18 Mercurys would fit inside Earth. The mass of Mercury(3.285 × 10^23 kg) is 20% of that of the Earth(5.972 × 10^24 kg). For that reason, Its Gravitational force is almost none, For that reason, Its escape velocity is very very smaller (4.25 K.M./ second) than our Earth (Earth’s escape velocity is 11.19 km/second). Due to smaller, gravitational force, you will feel different on its surface. An astronaut whose weight is 68 Kg on the Earth, on the Mercury his weight would be almost 26 Kg. Due, to the low gravitational force it is unable to persist an atmosphere around it. And that’s why Mercury does not have any moon.
7. Mercury is nothing but a rocked planet with molten core:
The surface of the Mercury is full of rocky mantle and crust. where its core is filled with molten iron, nickel & other matters. Mercury’s iron core produces a magnetic field. But, this is very weak (100 times weaker than Earth). This may be the reason for its slow spin on its axis. The diameter of Its core is 75% of its total diameter. This makes Mercury the second densest (5.4 grams/C.C.) planet. But it is denser than any planet except Earth. Its high density suggests that Mercury is rich in iron. However, there is a possibility that a thin layer of the outer core is still molten. This outer mantle has slowly cooled, and during the last billion years, volcanic eruptions and lava flows have ceased, making the planet tectonically inactive. So, I think you agree that Mercury has volcanoes.
8. Mercury Close-up:
Mariner & Messenger are the only two spacecrafts visited Mercury. Due to its closeness to the Sun, it’s very difficult to visit. So, til now humans are able to visit the planet only two times. In 1974 on February, Mariner reached near to the Mercury. in that year, 29th March, 21 September & in the next year (1975) 16th March are the three days, Mariner can meet Mercury. But, in these three days, Mariner was able to click only the Half-surface of Mercury. Because these days Mercury’s one face(one side) was in front of Mariner. However, Mercury was not only for Mercury, it sent us almost 7,000 pictures of Mercury, Venus & Earth. In 2004 on 3rd August, NASA sent Messenger(short for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging mission) spacecraft. It was only for Mercury, After 7 years, in 2011 it reached the planet & since then it has been orbiting the planet. Some amazing pictures sent by this probe helped us to create the first-ever complete map of Mercury’s surface.
9. Mercury’s Transit across the Sun:
Though it’s the closest planet of the sun, its orbit is more elliptical than circular. So, the distance between the Mercury & the Sun varies from 28 million miles(almost one-third of Earth-sun distance) to 44 million miles(almost half of Earth-sun distance). That’s why it comes between the sun & our Earth irregularly ( irregular with respect to a circular orbit, but regular with respect to an elliptical orbit). When it passes, it seems to be a tiny black dot from the Earth. This event is called Transit. Only in May & November, this can be seen. The last transit occurred on 9th May 2016.
10. Mercury Has Tail!!:
In 2001, the McMath-Pierce solar telescope in Arizona, USA, took an image of Mercury’s tail, what makes Mercury unique. It’s a long, comet-like tail and its effect is the strongest at perihelion. Very less has been known about this Mercury’s tail. Someone said it’s a sodium tail, according to others it’s made of Helium. The reason for it is not clear too. It might be due to the pressure exerted by sunlight, pushes atoms away from Mercury. Another thought is that it’s something with the planet’s magnetosphere and the sun’s wind.
What is your opinion on the Terrestrial Planet Mercury? Comment below, if I miss any point that you know.