What is the temperature under the surface of Mercury? I know at the surface the temperature varies greatly (-297 F to 801 F). I also realize that the answer would likely depend on depth. Do we know the temperature at any depth, except the surface? I also realize the temperature may vary based on latitude. I am mainly looking to see if there might be an ideal location / depth for a colony on Mercury for my game Planetary Settlers.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you thinking of just the crust or further down? One would think there'd be some educated guesses out there of the mantle and core temperatures. $\endgroup$ – user10106 Apr 5 '18 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Kozaky - Mainly just the crust (e.g. anywhere from a few feet to a few miles, wherever the temperature should be mostly stable). $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Apr 5 '18 at 13:23
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    $\begingroup$ There's evidence that Mercury has a molten iron-sulfur core. It has a stable magnetic field about 1% the strength of earth's, probably from a dynamo connected to a molten core. The core itself could only remain molten from the tidal forces of the sun. I've not found a proposed temperature for that core, but if you had one you could in principle model temperatures at a given depth by assuming an approximately linear relation to achieve thermal equilibrium. The accuracy of that, or any other model, might be hard to quantify. $\endgroup$ – zibadawa timmy Apr 5 '18 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ Deeper will generally mean a more stable temperature. Based on Earth experience (caves, mines) I expect a mile deep would be plenty to find near-constant temperature. Somewhere near the poles, you might even find a tolerable temperature. This paper [hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00110923] describes an effort to get detailed data. $\endgroup$ – Bit Chaser Apr 5 '18 at 19:44

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