I would assume the planet Mercury represents a 'worst case' for radiation risk to people. But how bad is it as compared to, say, radiation workers annual dose limit?

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    $\begingroup$ What type of radiation are you interested in? And why would you assume that Mercury represents a worst case? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jun 24 '16 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar ionizing radiation. This is in reference to a manned mission to Mercury. The objective is to understand the danger a crew would face on the surface while deploying their first habitat. My assumption is based on Mercury's nearness to the Sun compared to all other planets. $\endgroup$ – MercuryPlus Jun 24 '16 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ in a manned mission, cosmic radiation would be a minor problem comparing to thermal radiation. $\endgroup$ – SF. Jun 24 '16 at 15:20

According to this NASA Mercury Facts Sheet, Mercury has almost 7 times the Solar Irradiance that Earth receives (9082.7 W/m^2 versus 1361 W/m^2). I'm not certain how this value translates to Sievert Units.

Mercury does have a large magnetosphere though, which should protect anyone on the planet from a large amount of the harmful radiation the Sun puts out (similar to Earth.) I'd wager you'd receive less radiation on Mercury than on the Moon because of the magnetosphere.

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  • $\begingroup$ According to that same Facts Sheet, Mercury has a rather long day. Perhaps the mass of the planet might act as an insulator? $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Jun 24 '16 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ At night the solar radiations are a non-issue. A mission could land at night, but the initial work to build a base is much more dangerous in the dark. Right now the idea is to land just before sunset (say, four days) when temps on the surface are lower and objects vertical to the surface (like astronauts) have vacuum to radiate waste heat into. The problem with ionizing radiation is more difficult. What I'm looking for is a figure for how much radiation the crew would encounter during those four days. . . $\endgroup$ – MercuryPlus Jun 24 '16 at 15:49

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