Mercury - Mercury Motions orbit: quiteelliptical o

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Mercury Motions orbit: quite elliptical o distance from Sun varies => speed varies plane inclined about 7 degrees from ecliptic period = 88 days o shortest "year" rotation: once every 59 days o one "Mercury day" = 59 "Earth days" rotation period = 2/3 orbital period spin - orbit coupling = simple relationship between rotation and orbital period example: Synchronous rotation Why? tidal forces from Sun (strong for close planet) like the Moon, one side of Mercury is somewhat more dense The rotation of Mercury is also shown in Figure 8.9.  [Link to Figure 8.9] CD: 2nd edition: See the animation in the Chapter 8 gallery, p. 1.  [Link to web   animation. SLOW DOWNLOAD] OPTIONAL MATERIAL: Combination of slow rotation and fast orbit when closest to Sun causes Sun to appear to turn around in the sky and go backward !!!! (like retrograde motion)
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Interior observe weak magnetic field and very slow rotation
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/09/2012 for the course AST 1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Spring '10 term at Broward College.

Page1 / 4

Mercury - Mercury Motions orbit: quiteelliptical o

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online