Mercury

Mercury








Mercury's elliptical orbit takes the small planet as close as 29 million miles (47 million kilometers) and as far as 43 million miles (70 million kilometers) from the sun. If one could stand on the scorching surface of Mercury when it is at its closest point to the sun, the sun would appear almost three times as large as it does when viewed from Earth.

Temperatures on Mercury's surface can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius). Because the planet has no atmosphere to retain that heat, nighttime temperatures on the surface can drop to -280 degrees Fahrenheit (-170 degrees Celsius).

Because Mercury is so close to the sun, it is hard to directly observe from Earth except during twilight. Mercury makes an appearance indirectly, however, 13 times each century. Earth observers can watch Mercury pass across the face of the sun, an event called a transit. These rare transits fall within several days of May 8 and November 10.

Scientists used to think that the same side of Mercury always faces the sun, but in 1965 astronomers discovered that the planet rotates three times during every two orbits. Mercury speeds around the sun every 88 days, traveling through space at nearly 31 miles (50 kilometers) per second faster than any other planet. The length of one Mercury day (sidereal rotation) is equal to 58.646 Earth days.


Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter
Saturn Uranus Neptune pluto
Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto

 

May God Bless you
Article by: Mr. Jayesh Dave
Date Write: 02 June, 2012