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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Mercury The courageous planet to stand before the Sun

Photo: Mercury taken by Messenger probe (NASA / JHU Applied Physics Laboratory / Carnegie Institution)

First planet near the Sun is Mercury, a small size planet, which orbits the sun in 88 days, and 59 days to rotate once on its axis. Earth need only 24 hours. It is similar in appearance to Earth's moon. Actually now still are doubts about how our moon got in our orbit, because it could have been a planet like Mercury, but trapped by Earth's gravity.

If this little planet is at the smallest distance from the Sun, it is not difficult to understand that on the Earth, Mercury can not be seen but only shortly after setting, or rising of the Sun. However, even through a telescope can not be seen clearly because its diameter. Imagine that you want to see the Moon, not 385,000 miles away from Earth, but at 77 million km, because the diameters of the two are quite similar. Mercury has a diameter of 4.878 km and the  Moon 3.474 km.
Mercury was photographed and studied closer by the probes Mariner 10 and Messenger.

Mercury has it's name from the Roman god Mercury, messenger to the gods.
Being very close to the Sun, is the hottest planetit's temperature reaching from -173 to 426 degrees Celsius.
It does not have an atmosphere like it's neighbor planet (and ours), Venus, and so is naked in front of the sun without being protected against solar radiation. Craters on this planet are very much like that of our moon. I even wrote an article about the similarity of Schickard crater on the Moon with a crater on Mercury.

The planet Mercury resembles the Moon, and the other satellites of other planets. We find nothing original about it's appearance.
It is the first body that has the courage to stand before the Sun. We do not know yet if it is the courage, or whether it was forced due to some circumstances, to be the planet closest to the Sun, but definitely the hard conditions of this planet makes it a heroine. Between the two bodies is a distance of only 70 million km (at aphelion), compared to the distance between Earth and the Sun, which is 150 million km.

We don't know much about the planets in the Solar System, if formed where they are, or have changed their position relative to the Sun, but to know thatwe need landing space missions that give us information about soil composition of each body in the system, to compare them. These data could be surprising. Mercury could be for example one of the moons of planets like Jupiter etc. ..

If you would stay on Mercury, actually on any planet in the Solar System, the night sky would be the same as we see it from Earth. Constellations would have the same form in the same order. The only changes the sky would be some 'stars', which are the planets. Mercury's closest planet is Venus, which ould look on Mercury's sky about the same in brightness as we see it on Earth. Of course all the planets would be in a different arrangement seen on Mercury. Among them is our planet, which I guess would be seen less luminous as Venus, and maybe with a blue tint.
In Mercury's daytime, the Sun is seen very large and very bright. Because it has the lacks of the atmosphere, it does not have colors of the sky, like our case, which we have blue skies, or the planet Venus, which is always covered with clouds .. No climate change there, because the planet is not alive. It is something like what you would find on the Moon.


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