Mercury is so close to the sun and the temperature changes are extreme.
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Mercury is planet which is part of the solar system. The planet takes only 88 Earth days to complete and orbits around the sun at an average distance of about 58 million kilometers.
At this close distance, standing on the planet’s surface, the sun would appear three times as large as the earth. Compared to the intensity of radiation reaching the earth, seven times the amount of sunlight that illuminates the daytime side of Mercury. The sun’s rays burn the surface until it reaches a temperature of 430 degrees Celsius.
All the solar radiation blowing up the planet also gives it a spectacular comet-like tail that spans millions of kilometers. After sunset, the heat quickly dissipated.
Reported from Science Alert, Thursday (26/8), Mercury has no atmosphere to speak of, just a thin mist called the exosphere consisting of oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium and potassium that is swept away by the occasional meteorite strike and the solar wind. Without an insulating gas blanket to keep the warmth in, temperatures can drop to minus 180 degrees Celsius.
In the depths of the shadows of certain craters toward the poles, the freezing temperatures persist throughout the year, providing shelter for patches of ice. Ironically, it is the intense solar radiation itself that produces at least some of the ice, or at least the water, because protons in the solar wind collide with oxides in surface minerals to produce H2O molecules.