Weather on Mercury

829 Words4 Pages
Mercury is the innermost and smallest planet as well as having the most eccentric orbit the eight planets in our Solar System. Mercury’s terrain is rocky and heavily cratered closely resembling Earth’s moon, having no atmospheric protection against meteoroids or debris colliding with the surface, causing huge dents. The outer crust of mercury is believed to be very thin, much thinner than earths, its shell only being 500 to 600 km thick. It has been found that Mercury is the second densest planet of our solar system, earth being the first. It has a metallic core which makes up 75% of the planets radius. Radar images taken indicate that the core of mercury is in fact liquid and not solid like earth’s core. The core of mercury has an abundance of iron, much more iron than any other planet. This iron generates a magnetic field around the planet, only one precent as strong as Earth’s magnetic field. This field is said to be active and frequently interrelating with the solar wind and channelling plasma into Mercury’s surface from the sun. The chemicals captured from the solar wind include Hydrogen and Helium, which help create Mercury’s extremely thin atmosphere. Scientists would argue that there is ‘no’ atmosphere on Mercury at all. The little amount of gas found on Mercury is trillions of times thinner than the gasses found on earth, and would not be able to be detected without exceptionally sensitive equipment. Although very thin, Mercury’s atmosphere is made up of trace amounts of gasses including 42% Oxygen, 29% Sodium, 22% Hydrogen, 6% Helium, and 0.5% Potassium. Mercury’s location in the solar system makes it difficult at best to hold at atmosphere as it is in such close proximity to the sun. The atmosphere would only be there for a short amount of time before being blasted off my solar winds, meteoroid bombardment and outgassing (the gas escapes into the
Open Document