Mercury - the closest planet to the Sun, known to mankind since ancient times.The fact that it is the smallest number of orbiting planets of our star, was established in the days of the Middle Ages.Rough observations made in the early nineteenth century, formed the basis of an erroneous theory is the fact that Mercury is constantly turned to the Earth the same side.Later, some astronomers thought that Mercury has ice caps.This assumption also proved incorrect.The reason is that our star heats their nearest planet to 1400 degrees Celsius at its equator, and the fiery stream of plasma - the solar wind - bombarding its surface with hurricane force.

scientific debate arose over the question of the presence of Mercury's own atmosphere, as well as its daily cycle.It is now established the presence of highly rarefied atmosphere, whose thickness is small.

helped establish the truth automatic probe "Mariner-10", which was launched on the nearest neighbor of the Sun and took a series of shots from close range, t
wice going around the planet.

Automatic probe Mariner 10 Automatic probe Mariner 10

Shooting lasted about 40 hours.The resulting photos have been transferred about 40% of Mercury's surface.Before the eyes of scientists appeared black, cratered by meteorite impacts, burning hot surface.The diameter of the traces of the fall of one of the celestial bodies reached several tens of kilometers.An unexpected discovery was deep gorges up to four thousand meters, which stretch for hundreds and thousands of kilometers.Mercury is literally spotted by a network of bottomless ravines.A similar pattern is observed on other celestial bodies of the Solar System.

Mercury - the planet of gorges

layer Atmospheric Mercury does not look like gas shells of other planets and, basically, formed by pairs of potassium and sodium.There is in it and helium brought by the solar wind.But this inert gas quickly disappears into interplanetary space.

Do Mercury's own magnetic field generated by liquid metal core, 70% consists of iron.Theorizes that the planet there are lakes of liquid metal.However, the "Mariner 10" they were not found.And did not find any signs of life.

Many mysteries of Mercury is still shrouded in mystery.In particular, do not understand the reasons for the formation of canyons on its surface.Reliably not set the temperature of the planet's surface.

at regular intervals to the Sun is approaching a group of comets, making adjustments in the orbit of Mercury.The planet passes through their tails, while on its surface falling meteorite fragments, forming a plurality of craters.However, the greatest influence on the fate of Mercury has, of course, the sun.From the fate of being absorbed in the upper layers of incandescent fluorescent lights closest to the planet it saves the high frequency of revolution around the star.Mercurial year equals 176 Earth days.

Astronomers believe that over time the elliptical orbit of Mercury will turn into a spiral, and the planet will be absorbed by the sun.

Mercury - the planet of gorges
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