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Posts tagged planet

103 notes &

the-star-stuff:

MERCURY - Facts and Information
Histroy and Naming
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after the swift-footed messenger god Mercury.
Mercury was also given separate names for its appearance as both a morning star and as an evening star. Greek astronomers knew, however, that the two names referred to the same body. Heraclitus believed that both Mercury and Venus orbited the Sun, not the Earth. 
Physical Characteristics
The surface of Mercury can reach a scorching 840 degrees F (450 degrees C). However, since this world doesn’t have a real atmosphere to entrap any heat, at night temperatures can plummet to minus 275 degrees F (minus 170 degrees C), a more than 1,100 degrees F (600 degree C) temperature swing that is the greatest in the solar system.
 Since it has no significant atmosphere to stop impacts, the planet is pockmarked with craters. 
Amazing, as close to the sun as Mercury is, ice may exist in its craters. 
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 kilometers) wide, or about 75 percent of the planet’s diameter. In comparison, Mercury’s outer shell is only 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick. 
Mercury possessed a magnetic field. 
Composition & Structure
Atmospheric composition (by volume). No atmosphere: Mercury possesses an exosphere containing 42 percent oxygen, 29 percent sodium, 22 percent hydrogen, 6 percent helium, 0.5 percent potassium, with possible trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton, neon. 
Magnetic Field. Roughly 1 percent the strength of Earth’s.
Internal structure. Iron core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 kilometers) wide. Outer silicate shell about 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick.

the-star-stuff:

MERCURY - Facts and Information

Histroy and Naming

  • Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after the swift-footed messenger god Mercury.
  • Mercury was also given separate names for its appearance as both a morning star and as an evening star. Greek astronomers knew, however, that the two names referred to the same body. Heraclitus believed that both Mercury and Venus orbited the Sun, not the Earth. 

Physical Characteristics

  • The surface of Mercury can reach a scorching 840 degrees F (450 degrees C). However, since this world doesn’t have a real atmosphere to entrap any heat, at night temperatures can plummet to minus 275 degrees F (minus 170 degrees C), a more than 1,100 degrees F (600 degree C) temperature swing that is the greatest in the solar system.
  •  Since it has no significant atmosphere to stop impacts, the planet is pockmarked with craters.
  • Amazing, as close to the sun as Mercury is, ice may exist in its craters.
  • 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 kilometers) wide, or about 75 percent of the planet’s diameter. In comparison, Mercury’s outer shell is only 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick.
  • Mercury possessed a magnetic field.

Composition & Structure

  • Atmospheric composition (by volume). No atmosphere: Mercury possesses an exosphere containing 42 percent oxygen, 29 percent sodium, 22 percent hydrogen, 6 percent helium, 0.5 percent potassium, with possible trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton, neon. 
  • Internal structure. Iron core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 kilometers) wide. Outer silicate shell about 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick.

Filed under science space astronomy universe cosmos mercury planet education

140 notes &

the-star-stuff:

Hypervelocity planets are zooming out of our galaxy at warp speed

The wildest ride in the galaxy is found on hypervelocity planets. These worlds got too close to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and have been flung away at a twentieth of the speed of light.
While rogue planets are common enough, these hypervelocity planets represent a much rarer case and can only be formed by a star system - specifically, a double star system - coming into contact with Sagittarius-A*, our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole. Previous research has indicated that when a binary star system gets too close to Sagittarius-A*, it’s possible the system to be ripped apart, with one star entering orbit around the black hole while the other is ejected at enormous speeds.
[continue reading…]
Via Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Artist’s conception by David A. Aguilar (CfA).

the-star-stuff:

Hypervelocity planets are zooming out of our galaxy at warp speed

The wildest ride in the galaxy is found on hypervelocity planets. These worlds got too close to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and have been flung away at a twentieth of the speed of light.

While rogue planets are common enough, these hypervelocity planets represent a much rarer case and can only be formed by a star system - specifically, a double star system - coming into contact with Sagittarius-A*, our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole. Previous research has indicated that when a binary star system gets too close to Sagittarius-A*, it’s possible the system to be ripped apart, with one star entering orbit around the black hole while the other is ejected at enormous speeds.

[continue reading…]

Via Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Artist’s conception by David A. Aguilar (CfA).

Filed under science astronomy space planet planets hypervelocity planets rogue planets runaway planets star black hole