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What is the Atmosphere and Temperature on Mercury?

With Pluto being downgraded to that of Dwarf planet status, Mercury is the undisputed smallest planet of the solar system. In addition to being the smallest, it is also the nearest planet to the Sun.

Being so close to the Sun compared to other planets in the system, it doesn't really have an atmosphere as such. Its very thin surface is being blasted off into space by atoms bombarding it from the Sun. The atmosphere is constantly being replenished unlike that of Venus and Earth. Its atmosphere is referred to as an Exosphere. Caltech

Although it may have an exosphere which contains oxygen, it is not suitable for humans. The temperature of the planet is far too hot and far too cold for habitility. Although the temperature on the surface facing the Sun can get up to 430 Degrees Celsius, it can also get down to -180 at night. It is definitely not a place that humans could survive on. N.A.S.A.

The most important thing for life as we know is water. It has been discovered that Mercury has deposits of water ice on its surface. This does not mean there is there life however simple on the surface and we still couldn't live there. It was discovered by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. It is the same observatory that provided the climax for the James Bond film, Goldeneye. N.A.S.A.

Planning a trip to Mercury, I would strongly suggest otherwise, there's better places to visit, ones that are more hospitable to visit such as Mars and the Moon if we could ever get there.


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