Saraya – Experts have confirmed that despite the extreme proximity of Mercury to the sun, and the extreme swing in temperature extremes, humans can technically walk on the surface of the planet.
Mercury’s slow rotation means that it takes 59 Earth days to complete one revolution. However, its relatively short year of 88 days means that it takes less than 176 Earth days to complete one cycle of day and night. By following the finish line – the slowly changing twilight zone seen as the sun goes down – it is possible to avoid both the sun’s roasting and the crazy cold.
The real problem will be finding a way to touch safely. Having no atmosphere to use meant more reliance on heavy fuel to control speed.
Although it is only slightly larger than the Moon, Mercury has a massive iron core compared to its relatively thin crust, a mysterious feature that makes it incredibly heavy for its size. This density means that the planet’s gravity is only a third of the Earth’s strength.
Then there is the issue of the flight itself. Putting aside the increasing levels of radiation as you get closer to the Sun, it would take six to seven years to navigate the complex trajectory necessary to intercept the planet. And this despite the fact that technically it can be considered our closest planetary neighbor.
But sending a lander to Mercury could help us unlock many of its mysteries, and give us a new perspective on the smallest planet in the solar system, according to the researchers.
Mercury is the innermost planet in the solar system, and it takes only 88 Earth days to complete and orbits the sun at an average distance of about 58 million kilometers (36 million miles).
At this close, the sun will appear on the surface of the planet three times larger than it appears from Earth. However, compared to the intensity of radiation reaching our planet, seven times the amount of sunlight covers Mercury’s day side, roasting its surface to temperatures of up to 430 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Fahrenheit).
And after sunset, the heat is quickly lost at night. Mercury has no atmosphere to speak of – only a thin haze called an exosphere consisting of ionized oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium and potassium. Without a gas blanket to keep warm, temperatures can drop to minus 180 degrees Celsius (about minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit).
And in the shady depths of the polar selective craters, these frigid temperatures persist year-round, providing shelter to frostbite. Ironically, it is the same intense solar radiation that produces at least some of the ice, or at least its water, as protons in the sun’s wind collide with oxides of surface metals to generate H2O molecules.
In 2021, a joint European-Japanese spacecraft recorded the first glimpse of Mercury as it passed near the innermost planet of the solar system, while carrying out a mission to deliver two probes into orbit by 2025.
After flying by quickly near Mercury, at altitudes of less than 200 kilometers, the spacecraft captured a low-resolution black-and-white image with one of its surveillance cameras before blasting off again.
The European Space Agency said that the image that was taken shows the northern hemisphere of Mercury, as well as the “Lermontov” abyss, which has a diameter of 166 km.
The expedition is named after the Italian scientist Giuseppe “Pepe” Colombo.
Colombo is credited with helping develop the gravity-assist maneuver first used by NASA on the Mariner 10 probe when it flew to Mercury in 1974.
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