Ch.10_Study_guide[1]

Ch.10_Study_guide[1] - C h.10 Mercury first rock from Sun,...

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Ch.10 Mercury “first rock from Sun”, has no natural satellites. 1.5 times the size of Moon Mercury is tidally coupled to Sun such that it rotates not once per orbit but 1.5 times per orbit. If you flew to Mercury and landed your spaceship in the middle of the day side, Sun would be high overhead, and it would be noon. Your watch would show that almost 44 Earth days passed before Sun set in the west, and a total of 88 Earth days would have passed before Sun reached the midnight position. In those 88 Earth days, Mercury would have completed one orbit around Sun. It would require another entire orbit of Mercury for Sun to return to the noon position overhead. So a full day on Mercury is two Mercury years long ! Mercury’s orbit is anything but repeatable. Surface Mercury actually has a very thin atmosphere consisting of atoms blasted off its surface by the solar wind. Because Mercury is so hot, these atoms quickly escape into space. Thus, in contrast to Earth and Venus whose atmospheres are stable, Mercury's
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Ch.10_Study_guide[1] - C h.10 Mercury first rock from Sun,...

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