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29 October 2014
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Pic: Mark Lawrik-Thompson
Graphic: Astronomy: your questions answered
Norfolk astronomer and Chairman of the Norwich Astronomical Society Mark Thompson is here to answer your questions about space.
Picture: Mercury
Planet Mercury is the nearest planet to the sun

Want to know something about Mercury?

Send in your questions and read the answers by local astronomer, Mark.


What is the surface gravity like on Mercury compared to Earth?
ANON

Answer: The surface gravity on Mercury is 0.38 times the surface gravity here on Earth. That means you would feel a lot lighter there than you would at home.

How come Mercury; the closet planet from the sun, is freezing cold at night whilst it isn't very cold at night here on Earth?
LUCY, AGE 8

Answer: The Earth has a thick atmosphere (shell of gas around the planet) while Mercury doesn't have a very thick atmosphere. The Earth isn't as cold as Mercury because the atmosphere keeps it from cooling down too much.

Does the planet Mercury emit light or reflect light?
ASHLEIGH, AGE 11

Answer: We can see the planets in our Solar System because they all reflect light from the Sun. Unlike all the stars we can see in the sky which give off their own light just like the Sun.

What is the circumference and composition of Mercury? Also the temperature during day and night?
NEHA

Answer: Mercury is the nearest planet to the Sun and has a circumference of about 15,300km. It's a small rocky planet and is made up of mostly iron and nickel.

Because it is so close to the Sun, its daytime temperature is around 430 degrees Centigrade and -170 degrees centigrade during night-time.

 

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See also
 

On this site

Astronomy index

Ask the astronomer

International Space Station

Make a rocket

Make a sundial

New Planet

Planet Jupiter

Planet Mars

The Moon

Planets Pluto, Neptune and Uranus

Planet Saturn

Planet Venus

The Star of Bethlehem

The Sun

Your questions answered

Venus passes in front of the Sun

On bbc.co.uk

BBC Space

The home of CBBC online

On the rest of the web

Norwich Astronomical Society

Breckland Astronomical Society

North Norfolk Astronomical Society

NASA for kids

Inspire Science Centre


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