Intergalactic Weather Channel: It’s Hot on Mercury

Bring sunscreen!

Bring sunscreen!

Intergalactic Weather Channel’s Trisha Takanawa and Ricardo Busamonte report on the continuing heat wave gripping Mercury this summer – and every summer. Don’t forget your water!

Listen here [1:44m]:

What’s the facts?

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, orbiting at an average distance of only 58 million kilometers (about 36 million miles).  That’s about 1/3 the distance between the Sun and the Earth, so Mercury gets roughly 9 times as much Solar radiation.  Mercury also spins exactly 3 times around for every 2 orbits, which means that a Mercury day (noon to noon) takes just as long as a Mercury year (for an explanation why, see this link).  So the surface of Mercury can get very hot in the daytime, with temperatures as high as 425 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Fahrenheit).  But when it finally does become night – after 88 days! – the temperatures can get as cold as -160 degrees Celsius (-260 degrees Fahrenheit).  Don’t worry Ricardo, relief is on the way!

Original air date 2 July 2009.

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One response to “Intergalactic Weather Channel: It’s Hot on Mercury

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