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Questions tagged [mercury]

Questions about Mercury, the first planet from Earth's sun. Also the smallest major planet in the Solar System.

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2answers
141 views

What is wrong with this measurement of the synodic period of Mercury?

I'm measuring the synodic period of Mercury using Stellarium. When measuring the synodic period one needs to choose a reference point to start the measurement, and I choose the point when Mercury is ...
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0answers
45 views

How to write a normalized, dimensionless form of Binet's relativistic equation?

$$\frac{\delta^2 u}{\delta \theta^2} + u = \frac{\mu}{h^2} + 3 \mu u^2$$ This is Binet's relativistic equation. Here $u = 1/r$ where $r$ is the radial distance, and $\mu$ is the reduced mass of the ...
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How did Arecibo make radar images of ice on Mercury's poles?

How did Arecibo make radar images of ice on Mercury's poles? How were observations of the poles of Mercury geometrically possible from Earth? How was "high-resolution (1.5-km) imaging" possible from ...
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1answer
36 views

Where can I find data on Mercury's orbit to fit a model to? [duplicate]

I have a project in which a Monte-Carlo method is used to find the optimal parameters for some model that is fit to a data set. I want to fit a model for the orbit of Mercury using this methods, but I ...
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3answers
353 views

What could possibly save an atmosphere other than a magnetic field? Why can't a magnetic field save the atmosphere in certain cases?

Similar question here. We know as a fact that the magnetic field protects planets from Solar Wind, a damaging, continuous, atmosphere-stripping wind of charged ions. Thus, a magnetic field protected ...
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1answer
79 views

Historical Distance of Planets to Earth [duplicate]

I'm curious if there is a readily accessible tool available, or simply a reliable way to find out what the distance of the planets in the solar system were on a given date. For example, if I am ...
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1answer
92 views

If Mercury and Venus where to collide would it make a habitable planet? [closed]

I have been wondering for a while now about a scenario of where if you combined Venus & Mercury would it be habitable if located in the goldy locks zone? I have found in my little research that ...
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1answer
281 views

Explanation of resonance stability and instability

I'm having some trouble grasping the idea of planetary resonances due to what seems to me like an ambiguity. It is known that the asteroid main belt is sculpted by the Kirkwood gaps, corresponding to ...
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1answer
90 views

Can Mercury's core “boil over” if it gets to close to the Sun?

I was reading about how Mercury's core makes up most of the volume of the planet. I'm guessing this is both because of the small size and the distance to the Sun. If Mercury got too hot could it ...
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1answer
86 views

Why does in-the-sky.org say that Mercury is not visible from Taipei these days?

I know that viewing Mercury is a challenge, but I'm fairly close to the equator and Mercury was at greatest elongation just a week ago. In-the-sky.org says: All around the world, Mercury is ...
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0answers
260 views

What is the temperature under the surface of Mercury?

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 ...
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1answer
69 views

Mercury mapping attempts before Mariner 10?

Mercury's surface was not mapped up-close until Mariner 10 passed by in 1974. This was followed by MESSENGER in 2008. I have seen several attempts of mapping Mars that came before space exploration, ...
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1answer
152 views

What is the inclination of Mercury's orbit w.r.t. the Sun's equatorial plane?

What is the inclination of Mercury's orbit w.r.t. the Sun's equatorial plane? Additionally, what is the orientation of Mercury's orbit (long axis) w.r.t. the Milky Way?
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1answer
185 views

Orbit of Mercury

As observed from the earth, the sun appears to move in an approximate circular orbit. For the motion of another planet like mercury as observed from the earth, would this be true? If not, why? What ...
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1answer
346 views

How large was Mercury before it shrunk?

There's a theory that the reason Mercury has such an enormous iron core is that it was once a much larger planet before it got impacted by an object, resulting in most of its mass getting blasted away....
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337 views

Exactly how elliptical is Mercury's orbit, visually, without exaggeration?

Reposting question from https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/5e1zhy/what_does_mercurys_orbit_really_look_like/ which reads: First the full question: What does the orbit of Mercury really ...
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1answer
138 views

Massive degraded impact crater on Mercury - chemical evidence?

The planet Mercury has a myriad of impact features - this has been known for some time. However, observe in the following images, a relatively large 'High-Mg region' detected on the planet (below): ...
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6answers
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Why is the Sun's density less than the inner planets?

The density of the Sun is $1410~\frac{\text{kg}}{\text{m}^{3}}$ and Mercury's is $5430~\frac{\text{kg}}{\text{m}^{3}}$, but shouldn't the Sun be denser? Because when the Solar System was forming, ...
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1answer
3k views

Why aren't all planets in the same plane?

Obviously all planets are not in same perfect plane. Because if at all they were in the exact same plane, it would mean that Mercury transits and Venus transits would not be that rare. Any ...
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1answer
585 views

Pinhole projector for the Transit of Mercury

Very quick and simple one today. What would be the best/optimal pinhole size for a pinhole projector to observe the transit of Mercury on May 9th? I want to get the optimum between resolution and ...
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1answer
310 views

Watching the Mercury transit with improvised devices

I have learned that it is not possible to watch the upcoming Mercury transit with the plain eye (using special filter glasses). Is it possible to watch the transit with improvised devices (like a ...
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1answer
728 views

Is it possible that Mercury was originally the moon of Venus after a giant impact?

Mercury looks like the Moon, and so it makes me think about a question: is it possible that Venus and Mercury were the a same planet originally, and a giant impact with that planet made it split into ...
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1answer
370 views

Can a human land on Mercury? [closed]

Can a human in a normal astronaut suit designed for the moon, land on Mercury and walk on it's surface. If not what would happen to him/her?
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1k views

Can we find rocks from Venus or Mercury on Earth?

As we know, we can find rocks from Mars on Earth, how about Venus and Mercury? Is that not found yet? Or it is impossible to find them because they are closer to the Sun, and debris won't go far away ...
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657 views

Could Venus or Mercury have a moon that we haven't detected?

Let's consider Mars' two moons for a moment. They're small, not even spherical, and most likely are captured asteroids. They weren't discovered until the late 1800's. Telescopes are much more powerful ...
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1answer
2k views

What does the surface of Mercury look like?

What does the surface of Mercury look like? What color is it (I have seen some images portraying it grey and some a light brownish color), and would the surface be dusty like the Moon, smooth, or ...
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1k views

Are there ever any simultaneous transits of both Mercury and Venus as seen from the Earth?

Transits of Mercury happen fairly frequently due to its short period, but transits of Venus are less frequent. I've looked over the data available to me and found that there have been transits of ...
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2answers
205 views

Delta-v from Mercury surface to Venus surface

What it says on the tin: using the most efficient launch opportunity afforded by orbital mechanics, what delta-v would you have to impart to a payload to send it from the surface of Mercury to crash ...
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1answer
250 views

Are we sure there are no planets inside Mercury's orbit?

Currently, most explorations about new planets are pointing to area outside Neptune's orbit, but how about inside Mercury orbit? Can we say for certain there are no planets inside Mercury's orbit?
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1answer
69 views

Do sungrazing comets leave a field of meteoroids near the Sun?

A large fraction (a third?) of all comets found (with observational bias thanks to SOHO) have been sungrazers, breaking up with perihelion of a few of Sun's radius. Is there reason to believe that ...
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1answer
254 views

What is the format of the data from the JPL's HORIZONS system?

I'm looking for accurate positions and velocities of the planets in the solar system over several decades. I want to simulate their trajectories using Newtonian laws of motion, and compare the ...
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1answer
56 views

attractors of Mercury's spin-orbit relation

Mercury rotates at such a rate that the Sun appears to stand nearly still at perihelion, when the tide is strongest. Is there a mechanism that tends to adjust the orbital eccentricity to improve the ...
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1answer
1k views

Shall we say now that Pluto is “larger than Mercury” ?

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20150717-3 "Scientists working with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have observed Pluto’s atmosphere as far as 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) ...
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1answer
673 views

Is Mercury's core liquid?

A very basic question, but one to which I keep finding different answers: does Mercury have a liquid core, or is it all solid? Whatever the reason, what are the causes of it being so?
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1answer
160 views

What are the exact physical parameters used to calculate Mercury precession with Einstein theory?

NASA measured 43,13 arc seconds per century. General relativity predicts 42,98 arc seconds per century. I try to find out what the parameters' values such as $G$, $M_{sun}$, $\omega_{min}$ at ...
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1answer
117 views

When do Mercury/Venus reach greatest elevation at sunset/twilight for a given location?

On what day does Mercury reach its greatest elevation (in degrees from the horizon) at sunset a given location? The obvious answer is the day of Mercury's greatest elongation from the Sun, but, ...
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2answers
421 views

Motion of the sun as observed from mercury

I recently found this animation which shows the motion of sun as observed from mercury. It seems as if the sun stops in between, retraces a bit and then continues towards the west. What is the reason ...
3
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1answer
566 views

Can Mercury hit Earth or Mars in the next 5 billion years?

Mercury is the most unstable planet of the solar system, with an oscillating orbital eccentricity (between 0 to 0.45). It seems there is a 1% probability in the next 5 billion years Jupiter and ...
5
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1answer
207 views

Are many exoplanets synchronously tidally locked like Mercury?

The only tidally locked planet in the Solar system is Mercury. But it is synchronously tidally locked 3:2, because of the relatively high eccentricity of its orbit, so doesn't turn the same side ...
13
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1answer
702 views

What is the current accepted theory as to why Mercury, despite its size, has a similar density to Earth?

According to the NASA web page overview about Mercury, despite the planet being just a bit larger than our moon, it's density is about 98.4% of Earth's. This high density suggests a comparatively ...