mercury planetary data

Mercury’s orbit is the most inclined of the planets, tilting about 7° from the ecliptic, the plane defined by the orbit of Earth around the Sun; it is also the most eccentric, or elongated planetary orbit. This prolonged exposure to the Sun at its brightest makes these two points the hottest places on Mercury. Mercury’s temperature range is the most extreme of the solar system’s four inner, terrestrial planets, but the planet’s nightside would be even colder if Mercury kept one face perpetually toward the Sun and the other in perpetual darkness. Mercury's surface is similar in appearance to that of the Moon, showing extensive mare-like plains and heavy cratering, indicating that it has been geologically inactive for billions of years.Because knowledge of Mercury's geology had been based only on the 1975 Mariner 10 flyby and terrestrial observations, it is the least understood of the terrestrial planets. ( Mercury – The smallest and fastest planet, it zips around the Sun in only 88 Earth days. Bursts of energetic particles in the planet's magnetotail indicate a dynamic quality to the planet's magnetosphere. [176][177], On March 24, 1975, just eight days after its final close approach, Mariner 10 ran out of fuel. Try to win a Planetary Society Venn Diagram tee and a signed copy of Emily Lakdawalla’s book, The Design and Engineering of Curiosity, by answering this question: What was the Inside Mercury. Average distance from the Sun: 0.39 x Earth distance; Orbital period: 87.9 days; Diameter: 0.38 x Earth diameter ; Mass: 0.055 x Earth mass; Rotation period: 58.6 days; Average density: 5.43 g/cm 3; Composition: rocky (including both rock and metal) Average surface temperature: 425°C (day), –175°C (night) Moons: 0 This occurs about every seven years on average. Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter; Mean distance from Sun (millions of kilometers) 57.9 : 108.2 : 149.6 : 227.9 : 778.3: Mean distance from Sun (millions of miles) 36.0 : 67.24 : 92.9 : 141.71 : 483.88: Period of revolution : 88 days : 224.7 days : 365.2 days : 687 days : 11.86 yrs: Rotation period : 59 days : 243 days retrograde : 23 hr 56 min 4 sec : 24 hr 37 min : 9 hr 55 min 30 sec [69] Although ice was not the only possible cause of these reflective regions, astronomers think it was the most likely. The magnetic-field strength at Mercury's equator is about 300 nT. Mercury can be observed for only a brief period during either morning or evening twilight. [146][147] In the 12th century, Ibn Bajjah observed "two planets as black spots on the face of the Sun", which was later suggested as the transit of Mercury and/or Venus by the Maragha astronomer Qotb al-Din Shirazi in the 13th century. Some four and a half decades after NASA’s Mariner 10 spacecraft sped by Mercury, a group of planetary scientists is now talking about landing on our solar system’s innermost planet. "Revolution" is motion around a centre that is external to the body, usually in orbit, as in "Earth takes a year for each revolution around the Sun." If you’re born with Mercury in sensual Taurus , you may be quite tactile, relying on the power of touch to synthesize data. The Geosciences Node of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) archives and distributes digital data related to the study of the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial planetary bodies. However, when this area was first visited, by Mariner 10, this zero meridian was in darkness, so it was impossible to select a feature on the surface to define the exact position of the meridian. [150], The first telescopic observations of Mercury were made by Galileo in the early 17th century. Orbital periods of the four inner rocky planets: Mercury: 88 days; Venus: 225 days; Earth:365 days; Mars: 687 days It rules commerce and media. Mercury is the second densest planet after Earth, with a huge metallic core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 km) wide, or about 75 percent of the planet's diameter. By comparing reflected radar signals with the specific predictions of the general theory, scientists achieved a second important confirmation of relativity. [24] A similar effect would have occurred if Mercury had been in synchronous rotation: the alternating gain and loss of rotation over revolution would have caused a libration of 23.65° in longitude.[94]. [123][124] At greatest western elongation, Mercury rises at its earliest before sunrise, and at greatest eastern elongation, it sets at its latest after sunset.[125]. Reaching Mercury from Earth poses significant technical challenges, because it orbits so much closer to the Sun than Earth. Mercury Closest Approaches to Earth generated with: Davies, M. E., "Surface Coordinates and Cartography of Mercury," Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. [116], There may be scientific support, based on studies reported in March 2020, for considering that parts of the planet Mercury may have been habitable, and perhaps that life forms, albeit likely primitive microorganisms, may have existed on the planet. Solar System Scale & Size Planets + Characteristics - Data - Mercury - Venus - Earth - Mars - Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus - Neptune Dwarf Planets Small Solar System … The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft regularly observed the magnetospheric flanks of Mercury during its orbital phase. Mercury in community-minded Aquarius ? The first spacecraft to visit Mercury, Mariner 10, was in orbit around the Sun when it made three brief flybys of the planet in 1974–75. [24], Simulations indicate that the orbital eccentricity of Mercury varies chaotically from nearly zero (circular) to more than 0.45 over millions of years due to perturbations from the other planets. The payload components are mounted on the nadir side of the spacecraft, with certain instruments or sensors located directly at the main radiator, to achieve low detector temperatures. The Babylonians called the planet Nabu after the messenger to the gods in their mythology. The probe successfully entered an elliptical orbit around the planet on March 18, 2011. Gear motors are our highlight. While the suite of sensors are designed to study the rocky, atmosphere-free environment at Mercury, the flyby offered a unique opportunity to collect valuable science data at Venus. They provided the first views that resolved surface features on the parts of Mercury that were not imaged in the Mariner 10 mission. e The Planetary Manifestation Activator™ MERCURY is here to activate the energy of thought and perception, communication, technology and travel. [189] The mapper probe carries an array of spectrometers similar to those on MESSENGER, and will study the planet at many different wavelengths including infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray.[191]. Mercury’s orbital eccentricity and the strong solar tides—deformations raised in the body of the planet by the Sun’s gravitational attraction—apparently explain why the planet rotates three times for every two times that it orbits the Sun. To this end, the probe carried imaging devices that gathered much-higher-resolution images of much more of Mercury than Mariner 10, assorted spectrometers to determine abundances of elements in the crust, and magnetometers and devices to measure velocities of charged particles. Mercury helps you increase your skills in writing and communicating and creating a profitable business. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) carries 11 instruments dedicated to the study of Mercury’s surface, interior structure, composition, exosphere, and magnetic field. This event, in which the planet can be observed telescopically or by spacecraft instruments as a small black dot crossing the bright solar disk, is called a transit (see eclipse), and it occurs about a dozen times in a century. Because Mercury’s orbit lies within Earth’s, it occasionally passes directly between Earth and the Sun. Each planet (Mercury, Venus and Mars) has a different orbital period around the sun than Earth does and as a result, interesting patterns emerges. To make that, I downloaded a bunch of NASA ephemeris (orbital) data. Product Information: Using the Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS3) and observations from Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) narrow-angle camera (NAC) and multispectral wide-angle camera (WAC), we derived a global digital elevation model (DEM) of Mercury. [103], For many years it was thought that Mercury was synchronously tidally locked with the Sun, rotating once for each orbit and always keeping the same face directed towards the Sun, in the same way that the same side of the Moon always faces Earth. Golden, Leslie M., A Microwave Interferometric Study of the Subsurface of the Planet Mercury (1977). The diagram illustrates the effects of the eccentricity, showing Mercury's orbit overlaid with a circular orbit having the same semi-major axis. Its nearness to the horizon also means that Mercury is always seen through more of Earth’s turbulent atmosphere, which blurs the view. This is because, coincidentally, Mercury's rotation period is almost exactly half of its synodic period with respect to Earth. The eccentricity of Mercury's orbit makes this resonance stable—at perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, the Sun is nearly still in Mercury's sky. [87], Mercury has the most eccentric orbit of all the planets; its eccentricity is 0.21 with its distance from the Sun ranging from 46,000,000 to 70,000,000 km (29,000,000 to 43,000,000 mi). This would indicate an interaction between the magnetosphere and the planet's surface. However, Mercury’s gravity model is limited by relatively low spatial resolution and stripe noises Radioactive decay of elements within Mercury's crust is another source of helium, as well as sodium and potassium. Rotation Period Approx. "Rotation" is the turning of a body about an axis that passes through the body, as in "Earth rotates once a day." In addition, the extreme heat, not only from the Sun but also reradiated from Mercury itself, challenged spacecraft designers to keep instruments cool enough to operate. {\displaystyle a} Surface temperatures drop to about 90 K (−300 °F, −180 °C) during Mercury’s long nights before sunrise. Mercury was subsequently employed in additional tests of relativity, which made use of the fact that radar signals that are reflected from its surface when it is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth (at superior conjunction) must pass close to the Sun. This is in close agreement with the accepted value of Mercury's perihelion advance of 42.98 arcseconds per century. From the perspective of the warm poles, the Sun is already low on the horizon and about to set when it grows the brightest and performs its brief course reversal. Mass 3/s–2 [102] The two hottest places on the equator are therefore at longitudes 0° W and 180° W, and the coolest points on the equator are at longitudes 90° W and 270° W. However, the MESSENGER project uses an east-positive convention. – only if displayed on the map. The effect appears as a gyration, or precession, of Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. [f][130] Babylonian records of Mercury date back to the 1st millennium BC. The detection of high amounts of water-related ions like O+, OH−, and H3O+ was a surprise. The chances of trapping the spin at the 58.6-day period were greatly enhanced by tidal friction between the solid mantle and molten core of the young planet. The baseline trajectory foresees 9 planetary swingbys at Earth, Venus, and Mercury. [89], Mercury's orbit is inclined by 7 degrees to the plane of Earth's orbit (the ecliptic), as shown in the diagram on the right. Revolution Period Approx. [104], The rare 3:2 resonant tidal locking is stabilized by the variance of the tidal force along Mercury's eccentric orbit, acting on a permanent dipole component of Mercury's mass distribution. Our products are widely applied on House-hold … The planet's magnetosphere, though small enough to fit within Earth,[81] is strong enough to trap solar wind plasma. Mercury presumably had spun faster when it was forming, but it was slowed by tidal forces. Credit: Universe Today Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System, with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days. References: MESSENGER Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) Experiment Data Record (EDR) Software Interface Specification (SIS) document, The Johns Hopkins University, APL, V2T, Jun. For example, essentially because Mercury is closer to the Sun than Venus, Mercury spends more time in proximity to Earth; it could, therefore, be said that Mercury is the planet that is 'closest to Earth when averaged over time'. [107] It’s a little bigger than Earth’s Moon. In the other alternate Mercurian years, the same thing happens at the other of these two points. The data set also includes all documentation and supporting materials needed to understand and use the data products. The second close approach was primarily used for imaging, but at the third approach, extensive magnetic data were obtained. PLANETARY DATA Planet Approx. As seen from Earth’s surface, Mercury hides in dusk and twilight, never getting more than about 28° in angular distance from the Sun. Mercury Data Set Browser: Planetary science data stored in PDS is organized by data sets. [71] The origin of the ice on Mercury is not yet known, but the two most likely sources are from outgassing of water from the planet's interior or deposition by impacts of comets. Mercury appears to have a solid silicate crust and mantle overlying a solid, iron sulfide outer core layer, a deeper liquid core layer, and a solid inner core. The two locations on Mercury’s equator where this oscillation takes place at noon are called hot poles. [178] Mariner 10 is thought to be still orbiting the Sun, passing close to Mercury every few months. The first of two spacecraft to visit the planet was Mariner 10, which mapped about 45% of its surface from 1974 to 1975. Interesting Planet Facts. T Although he observed phases when he looked at Venus, his telescope was not powerful enough to see the phases of Mercury. High-quality gravity field data are significant to refine the physical characterization of Mercury in planetary exploration missions. [84] Observations taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft detected this low energy plasma in the magnetosphere of the planet's nightside. Planetary data for Mercury *Time required for the planet to return to the same position in the sky relative to the Sun as seen from Earth. These points, which are the ones on the equator where the apparent retrograde motion of the Sun happens when it is crossing the horizon as described in the preceding paragraph, receive much less solar heat than the first ones described above. Internal Structure: Mercury is one of four terrestrial planets in the Solar System, and is a rocky body like the Earth. Mercury Data. The amplitude of the retrograde motion is small, so the overall effect is that, for two or three weeks, the Sun is almost stationary overhead, and is at its most brilliant because Mercury is at perihelion, its closest to the Sun. 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