Mercury - Scientific Theories and Mysteries

About Mercury, scientific theories for the unexplained mysteries of Mercury.


Theories and Mysteries: Particularly through the findings of spacecraft Mariner 10, we have learned much about Mercury within the last few years. Astronomer Bruce Murray states, "Mariner 10's long reach across space has magnified our view of Mercury's surface 5,000-fold and transported us back in time to the very formation of the terrestrial planets." However, there are still some unanswered questions. (1) Why do we find smooth areas on Mercury, similar to those on the moon? The moon's smooth areas are presumed due to its being "locked" to Earth--always keeping the same face turned one way. This is not true of Mercury. (2) When it was discovered in 1965 that Mercury did indeed have a night and day, calculations revealed that the Mercurian day is exactly equal to two of the planet's revolutions around the sun and three rotations on its axis. Why this numerical perfection?

It has been suggested that a mobile space station be established on Mercury's slowly rotating equator. By settling into a temperate zone on the night side of the planet and traveling a mere 53 mi. per day against the planet's rotation, we could study the solar system and the universe.

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