[71], Mercury is too small and hot for its gravity to retain any significant atmosphere over long periods of time; it does have a tenuous surface-bounded exosphere[73] containing hydrogen, helium, oxygen, sodium, calcium, potassium and others at a surface pressure of less than approximately 0.5 nPa (0.005 picobars). Ground-based telescope observations of Mercury reveal only an illuminated partial disk with limited detail. 2 As seen from Earthâs surface, Mercury hides in dusk and twilight, never getting more than about 28Â° in angular distance from the Sun. Mercury MESSENGER Global DEM 665m v2. 2 E056: Planetary Astronomy–Understanding the Origin of the Solar System planetary missions is another way to greatly increase Canadian planetary science return at orders of magnitude lower cost than a Canadian-led mission. Reaching Mercury from Earth poses significant technical challenges, because it orbits so much closer to the Sun than Earth. [180] A first fly-by of Mercury occurred on January 14, 2008, a second on October 6, 2008,[181] and a third on September 29, 2009. [163] This means that Schiaparelli's and Antoniadi's maps were not "wrong". [81], On November 29, 2012, NASA confirmed that images from MESSENGER had detected that craters at the north pole contained water ice. Planets - Data Table Dwarf Planets are listed in a separate table below. Data from the Magnetometer (MAG) and the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) allow us to investigate the statistical properties of planetary ions ( Na + ) in the presence of Kelvin‐Helmholtz (KH) waves at the … Orbital Period: 87.969257 days: Mass: 0.05527 M E: Equatorial Radius: 0.3826 R E: Rotational Inclination: 0.1° Rotational Period: 58.6462 days: Surface Temperature: Gear motors are our highlight. e [132] The spacecraft used the gravity of Venus to adjust its orbital velocity so that it could approach Mercury, making it both the first spacecraft to use this gravitational "slingshot" effect and the first NASA mission to visit multiple planets. [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. Mass 3/s–2 This zippy little planet hangs out in a zodiac sign for an average of three weeks. Solar System Scale & Size Planets + Characteristics - Data - Mercury - Venus - Earth - Mars - Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus - Neptune Dwarf Planets Small Solar System … 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. The success of the search for Neptune based on its perturbations of the orbit of Uranus led astronomers to place faith in this possible explanation, and the hypothetical planet was named Vulcan, but no such planet was ever found. Mercury - Mercury - Basic astronomical data: Mercury is an extreme planet in several respects. The time interval between successive images is about seven minutes. Mercury can be easily seen from the tropics and subtropics more than from higher latitudes. Rotation Period Approx. [144] The Maya may have represented Mercury as an owl (or possibly four owls; two for the morning aspect and two for the evening) that served as a messenger to the underworld. Each planet (Mercury, Venus and Mars) has a different orbital period around the sun than Earth does and as a result, interesting patterns emerges. [175] At the first close approach, instruments detected a magnetic field, to the great surprise of planetary geologists—Mercury's rotation was expected to be much too slow to generate a significant dynamo effect. Rotation Period Approx. Earth – The only planet in our solar system with liquid water on the surface. Planetary Names: Mercury Home . [150], The first telescopic observations of Mercury were made by Galileo in the early 17th century. The latest JPL ephemeris with fully consistent treatment of planetary and lunar laser ranging data is DE440 (Park et al., 2021). The magnetic-field strength at Mercury's equator is about 300 nT. The data set also includes all documentation and supporting materials needed to understand and use the data products. PLANETARY DATA Planet Approx. The two locations on Mercuryâs equator where this oscillation takes place at noon are called hot poles. [182] Most of the hemisphere not imaged by Mariner 10 was mapped during these fly-bys. The second close approach was primarily used for imaging, but at the third approach, extensive magnetic data were obtained. [170], The first spacecraft to visit Mercury was NASA's Mariner 10 (1974–1975). [154] This phenomenon is known as synchronous rotation. "MUL" is a cuneiform sign that was used in the Sumerian language to designate a star or planet, but it is not considered part of the actual name. 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. [69] Although ice was not the only possible cause of these reflective regions, astronomers think it was the most likely. In other words, the orbits of the two planets approach each other most closely. At this rate the Sun tugs repeatedly and especially strongly on the tidally induced bulges in Mercuryâs crust at the hot poles. [184] MESSENGER's final maneuver was on April 24, 2015, and it crashed into Mercury's surface on April 30, 2015. {\displaystyle \epsilon =24\pi ^{3}{\frac {a^{2}}{T^{2}c^{2}(1-e^{2})}}} [80] Studies indicate that, at times, sodium emissions are localized at points that correspond to the planet's magnetic poles. Venus is hotter. Instead, the astronomers saw the same features during every second orbit and recorded them, but disregarded those seen in the meantime, when Mercury's other face was toward the Sun, because the orbital geometry meant that these observations were made under poor viewing conditions. The Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) has a mass of 1,150 kg (2,540 lb) and uses a single-sided solar array capable of providing up to 1000 watts and featuring Optical Solar Reflectors to keep its temperature below 200 °C (392 °F). The planetâs rocky outer shellâits surface crust and underlying mantleâis only some 300 km (200 miles) thick. Mercury Data Set Browser: Planetary science data stored in PDS is organized by data sets. [24], A rare event in astronomy is the passage of one planet in front of another (occultation), as seen from Earth. [82][83] Like that of Earth, Mercury's magnetic field is dipolar. Mercury is even smaller than some of the largest moons in the solar system, such as Ganymede and Titan.However, it has a greater mass than the largest moons in the solar system. The detection of high amounts of water-related ions like O+, OH−, and H3O+ was a surprise. [68] Water ice strongly reflects radar, and observations by the 70-meter Goldstone Solar System Radar and the VLA in the early 1990s revealed that there are patches of high radar reflection near the poles. Planet Facts Interesting Planet Facts Mercury – The smallest and fastest planet, it zips around the Sun in only 88 Earth days. [148] (Note that most such medieval reports of transits were later taken as observations of sunspots. [119], Mercury can, like several other planets and the brightest stars, be seen during a total solar eclipse.[120]. 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. However, a lot of open issues remain. Launched almost two years ago, the European-Japanese probe BepiColombo took a black-and-white snapshot of Venus from a distance of 17,000 kilometers (10,560 miles), with some of its own … ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) carries 11 instruments dedicated to the study of Mercury’s surface, interior structure, composition, exosphere, and magnetic field. Maximum temperature occurs when the Sun is at an angle of about 25 degrees past noon due to diurnal temperature lag, at 0.4 Mercury days and 0.8 Mercury years past sunrise. In 1915 Albert Einstein showed that the treatment of gravity in his general theory of relativity could explain the small discrepancy. [185][186][187] The spacecraft's impact with Mercury occurred near 3:26 PM EDT on April 30, 2015, leaving a crater estimated to be 16 m (52 ft) in diameter. Instead of slowing to a state of synchronous rotation, as has happened to many planetary satellites, including Earthâs Moon, Mercury became trapped at the 58.6-day rotation rate. Data provider: N/A: Profession: Profession of author (for historic maps) Designator: Sheet designator terms following Greeley and Batson (1990) Planetary Mapping. 2 MESSENGER’s voyage to Mercury surpassed expectations and ended with its descent and impact onto the surface on April 30, 2015. 'It's Not Completely Nuts' - A new explanation for the rocky world's jumbled landscape opens a possibility that it could have had ingredients for habitability", "The Chaotic Terrains of Mercury Reveal a History of Planetary Volatile Retention and Loss in the Innermost Solar System", "NASA Reference Publication 1349; Venus: Twelve year planetary ephemeris, 1995–2006", "NASA spacecraft now circling Mercury – a first", "MESSENGER: Mercury and Ancient Cultures", "Modification of the Earlier Indian Planetary Theory by the Kerala Astronomers (c. 1500 AD) and the Implied Heliocentric Picture of Planetary Motion", "Mercury Passes in Front of the Sun, as Seen From Mars", "MESSENGER to test theory of shrinking Mercury", "MESSENGER Engine Burn Puts Spacecraft on Track for Venus", "Countdown to MESSENGER's Closest Approach with Mercury", "MESSENGER Gains Critical Gravity Assist for Mercury Orbital Observations", "NASA extends spacecraft's Mercury mission", "NASA Mercury Probe Trying to Survive for Another Month", "NASA's Messenger Mission Is Set to Crash Into Mercury", "Messenger's Collision Course With Mercury", "ESA gives go-ahead to build BepiColombo", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mercury_(planet)&oldid=995252510, Astronomical objects known since antiquity, CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of November 2020, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Pages using Sister project links with wikidata mismatch, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 December 2020, at 00:55. The resonance makes a single solar day on Mercury last exactly two Mercury years, or about 176 Earth days. 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. As described by Keplerâs laws of planetary motion, Mercury travels around the Sun so swiftly near perihelion that the Sun appears to reverse course in Mercuryâs sky, briefly moving eastward before resuming its westerly advance. [169] A proposed alternative approach would use a solar sail to attain a Mercury-synchronous orbit around the Sun. Aerobraking is ruled out because Mercury has a negligible atmosphere. 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. 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. Since Mercury’s 6 The data revealed that the planet's magnetic field is much like Earth's, which deflects the solar wind around the planet. [108], Numerical simulations show that a future secular orbital resonant perihelion interaction with Jupiter may cause the eccentricity of Mercury's orbit to increase to the point where there is a 1% chance that the planet will collide with Venus within the next five billion years. planets (planetary systems for planets with natural satellites) were taken from published val-ues derived from spacecraft tracking data. If you’re born with Mercury in sensual Taurus , you may be quite tactile, relying on the power of touch to synthesize data. The first and last quarter phases occur at greatest elongation east and west of the Sun, respectively. ϵ 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. First Global Topographic Model of Mercury among MESSENGER's Latest Delivery to the Planetary Data System The MESSENGER mission has released the first global digital elevation model (DEM) of Mercury, revealing in stunning detail the topography across the entire innermost planet and paving the way for scientists to characterize fully the planet’s geologic history. In 1800, Johann Schröter made observations of surface features, claiming to have observed 20-kilometre-high (12 mi) mountains. [131], The ancients knew Mercury by different names depending on whether it was an evening star or a morning star. 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