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Questions tagged [mercury]

Questions regarding Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. Use [project-mercury] for questions about the NASA missions.

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Friendly temperatures at day/night junction in Mercury?

Here's my theory : Since a temperature change is generally smooth when you travel, I was wondering that temperatures would be somewhat decent if you were to stay somewhere in the day/night longitude ...
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1answer
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What is the source of Scott Manley's plot of Messenger's end of mission perihermion loss?

In the video Why Does it take BepiColombo 7 Years To Get To Mercury? Scott Manley nicely explains some of the basic orbital mechanical aspects of the mission and compares it to the Messenger mission. ...
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When an how will BepiColombo and MIO separate? (JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter)

edit: JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) is now called MIO – Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter’s New Name. With all the fanfare about BepiColombo (mine included) I didn't realize that there ...
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Is the Parker Solar Probe's semimajor axis being so close to that of Mercury's just coincidence? Does it help somehow?

Parker Solar Probe will end up in it's Sun-kissing orbit though a series of Venus flyby's, which roughly pins Parker's aphelion at Venus's semimajor axis or about 108 million km. Its final perihelion ...
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2answers
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Why did the MESSENGER probe get deorbited?

I have heard a bit about why interplanetary probes get deorbited, but that was about Jupiter and Saturn that have potentially life-friendly moons. But regarding Mercury, no life could exist there: the ...
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1answer
50 views

How much solar wind (mass) hits Mercury's north pole?

I understand the solar wind impacts and sputters the surface of Mercury's north pole due to it's magnetic field deflecting it around the planet.
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What was Mariner 10's lowest perihelion radius?

I've been searching the web for documentation of Mariner 10's trajectory, notably the perihelion radii, but so far have turned up nothing quantitative, just some rough trajectory diagrams. I've looked ...
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Is it possible to dock with a ship that is on a Galileo-like trajectory?

Reading about missions that have made or will make heavy use of gravity assist (Galileo, Cassini, MESSENGER, BepiColombo...) made me wonder about what if a heavy unmanned ship (BFS?), with all the ...
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1answer
302 views

Is GR required to send a probe to Mercury?

I understand that Newton's Law of Gravitation is still used today to calculate the paths of probes, since it is such an accurate theory. However, the Law of Gravitation does not accurately describe ...
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2answers
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Why the thermal imaging of Mercury's surface requires a telescope on a jet flying through an eclipse?

The NASA News Feature Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse from NASA’s WB-57F Jets describes two telescope-equipped NASA jets that will fly fast enough to spend about 7 minutes in the Umbra (totality) of ...
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1answer
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Does it even make sense to talk about Mercury's triangular libration points (L4, L5)?

The recent question How much radiation shielding would be required for a habitat at Mercury–Sun L5? got me thinking. There are a large number of disadvantages and challenges to building or putting a ...
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1answer
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Could a Sun shield keep a rover cool daytime on Mercury?

If a rover on Mercury "roves" only at night when the surface is freezing cold, and before dawn unfolds a Sun shield of a few square meters above itself, under which it stays put all day. Would the ...
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1answer
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What are the challenges to landing a spacecraft on Mercury?

I read that it would be more difficult to land (not crash land) on Mercury or even send a spacecraft in orbit around it because of the gravitational pull of the Sun and the lack of planetary ...
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2answers
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What is this white dot and strange line in SOHO image?

In the SOHO images for today, there was a white dot at the bottom right of the image. There is also a strange white line parallel to the top and bottom of the image that crosses most of the image. ...
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Is Mercury's orbit still considered potentially unstable (in the very long term)? [closed]

The subsection Mercury–Jupiter 1:1 perihelion-precession resonance in the Wikipedia article Stability of the Solar System links to the article Solar system could go haywire before the Sun dies in the ...
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1answer
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Can the Sun set twice during the same day on Mercury?

Mercury's day is only a little bit shorter than its orbital period, the relationship is a 3:2 resonance. However, I noticed that the planet's angular velocity at perihelion, 0.265 arc-degrees per ...
15
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1answer
564 views

Through what process does MESSENGER undergo orbital decay?

At some point this year, the MESSENGER mission to Mercury will come to an end, as the spacecraft has exhausted its supply of maneuvering propellant necessary to keep it in orbit. It is currently using ...
6
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1answer
444 views

Cyclers To Mercury?

Is it possible to establish a practical 'cycler' transportation system between Earth and Mercury? The concept involves a small, manned payload (7.5 mt or less) doing the Earth departure and Mercury ...
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1answer
512 views

How could Mercury be used as a gravity sling to the outer planets?

Mercury's orbital speed is 48 km/s or about 10 AU/year. Wouldn't probes accelerate towards the Sun if we give them a little push from LEO, and only 0.6-1.6 AU from here take a big gravity assist from ...
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3answers
500 views

Would temperatures be more stable under the surface of Mercury?

Mercury, being right around than 55,000,000 km away from the Sun, gets hot. As in very hot - 700 °K hot (426 °C and 800 °F). Not a place you would want to live. On the flip side, the side of Mercury ...
18
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4answers
6k views

Does Mercury have the necessary natural resources to sustain a human colony?

Given that deep craters on Mercury's polar regions could provide protection from the searing heat and radiation of the closer Sun, a colony on Mercury could be possible. For any colony to be ...
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1answer
950 views

How tectonically active is Mercury?

Both this article and this paper say that Mercury's tectonic activity is mostly in the past, but the first article does have this to say: After the volcanic activity subsided, the planet has been ...