Can Humans Live On Mercury?

No. Humans cannot live on Mercury, and it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever be able to. Scientists believe that there has never been life on Mercury.

Mercury's atmosphere is essentially non-existent. It does not shield the Earth from the harsh radiation emitted by The sun or even from space, nor does it generate heat and create a habitable world.

Mercury is a hostile and sterile planet. Mercury must also have conditions that enable fluid to dwell on its surface for lengthy durations of time for life (as we know it) to thrive.

However, conditions on Mercury range from slightly over absolute zero when the planet is in darkness to 700 Kelvin when it is in sunlight. In such a kind of atmosphere, liquid water just cannot exist, and therefore life cannot either.

Any prehistoric life on Mercury would have been subjected to numerous mass extinctions. Photographs of Mercury's surface recovered by the Mariner 10 and MESSENGER spacecraft indicate that it has been subjected to numerous major impacts.

Indeed, it was violently blasted during the Late Heavy Bombardment, which happened approximately 3.9 billion years ago. Just one of these hits could have wiped out all life on Earth.

Many experts believe that a single impact wiped out a large portion of the planet's surface. If the hit eliminated a significant amount of the surface, this would have undoubtedly taken whatever life that existed in the world with it.

All existing evidence shows that there has never been and will never be life on Mercury. The extreme circumstances on the surface of the planet, along with the perilous air, make it almost impossible for any recognized life form to survive.

Is Mercury The Hottest Planet?

Mercury is the nearest star to the sun, and its title is connected with temperature due to the metal of the same name, which was once used in thermometers. So, it would only make sense for it to be the hottest planet in our solar system.

This, though, is not the reality. Because Mercury entirely lacks an atmosphere, which essentially means that it has no mechanism of retaining the heat created by the sun, causing it to experience alternating hot and cold phases.

Even while it isn't the warmest planet, it ranks a commendable second, even lacking an atmosphere. Mercury's surface temperature is estimated to be roughly 800 degrees Fahrenheit or 430 degrees Celsius.

Venus, the next planet from the sun after Mercury, is the warmest planet in our Solar System. Venus is the second closest planet to The sun and the closest to Earth Venus likewise has devastating air pressure, which is more than 90 times higher than Earth's air pressure.

On Earth, that would be equivalent to being a kilometer deep underwater. Although it is farther away from the sun than Mercury, it does have a thicker atmosphere that retains solar heat. This boosts the total continuous temperature on its surfaces above Mercury's limits.

Venus's surface temperature has indeed been measured to be near 900 degrees Fahrenheit (475 degrees Celsius).

Is Planet Mercury Toxic?

No. Unlike the metal of the same namesake, the planet Mercury is not considered toxic. This is because Mercury does not have an atmosphere, so there are zero chemicals present, let alone toxic chemicals.

Also, Mercury is difficult to observe from Earth due to its near proximity to the sun. Although no humans have ever visited Mercury, Mariner 10 was the very first mechanical spacecraft to do so.

In 1974 and 1975, it was flown by Mercury. Mariner 10 was only able to photograph around 50% of Mercury's crust.

For almost 30 years, no spaceship has explored Mercury. Then, in 2008 and 2009, NASA's Messenger spacecraft sailed by Mercury. It started its orbit around Mercury on March 17, 2011. Messenger will survey Mercury by photographing the surface of the planet, particularly previously unseen locations.

Mercury has a super-thin "exosphere" composed of atoms blown off its crust by solar radiation, the solar wind, and space debris collisions, rather than a considerable atmosphere. According to NASA, these particles soon travel into space, creating a tail of particles. 

They also claim that Mercury's atmosphere is a "surface-bound exosphere, virtually a vacuum." It is made up of 42% oxygen, 29% sodium, 22% hydrogen, 6% helium, and 0.5 percent potassium, with trace levels of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton, and neon.

How Big Is Mercury?

Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system (if you're not counting Pluto) - making it barely larger than Earth's moon. The planet is riddled with craters because it lacks a strong atmosphere to deflect collisions.

Around 4 billion years ago, a meteorite 60 miles (100 km) wide collided with Mercury, causing an impact equal to 1 trillion 1-megaton explosives and leaving a 960 mile (1,550 km) broad impact crater.

This crater, named the Caloris Basin, is bigger than the state of Texas. Another huge impact may have contributed to the planet's unusual spin.

As if Mercury wasn't already tiny enough, it has shrunk in the past and is still shrinking today. The minuscule planet is composed of a single tectonic crust that sits on top of a cooling iron core. The core hardens as it starts to cool, lowering the planet's size and forcing it to shrink.

The procedure crushed the surface, forming lobe-shaped scarps or rock formations hundreds of kilometers long and a mile tall, as well as Mercury's "Great Valley," which is around 620 miles in length, 250 miles in diameter, and 2 miles deep (1,000 by 400 by 3.2 km), bigger than Arizona's renowned Grand Canyon and deeper than East Africa's Great Rift Valley.

Gordon Watts
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