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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6
votes
1answer
276 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
333 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
10k views

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, ...
3
votes
1answer
552 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....
3
votes
1answer
598 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
729 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?
4
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1answer
363 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

How was the Messenger spacecraft used to measure Mercury's orbital precession to such accuracy? Could this have been done using radar?

This comment under an answer to Path of Mercury and general relativity mentions that the Messenger spacecraft was used to measure the precession of Mercury's orbit to such accuracy that the tiny ...
-1
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1answer
103 views

Path of Mercury and general relativity [duplicate]

I have read that many physicists challenge the theory of general relativity, and it has been proved many times that it is correct; my question is on Mercury's orbit. And we know that many of ...