And given that it has its experiences no flattening at the poles – like Venus, which means it is an almost perfectly spherical body – its radius is the same at the poles as it is the equator. Several theories have been proposed to explain this, the most widely-accepted being that Mercury was once a larger planet that was struck by a planetesimal that stripped away much of the original crust and mantle, leaving behind the core as a major component. Create New Account. In essence, this means that if you could stand on the surface of Mercury, you would weight 38% as much as you do on Earth. If you get too much mass together in a single object, its core will fuse lighter elements… Danish researchers have designed a new telescope technology which they claim is 300 times more effective than the current ones. Another interesting feature about Mercury’s core is the fact that it has a higher iron content than that of any other major planet in the Solar System. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Create New Account . 60 billion perhaps? With a mean radius of 2440 km, Mercury is the smallest planet in our Solar System, equivalent in size to 0.38 Earths. As we have yet to catalogue every star in the entire universe, the classification of “smallest star” would be like classifying the smallest lake or the smallest river. 15 per cent of young people in Norway were hurt or abused when schools were closed during the lockdown. However, the Universe extends to trillions of other stars outside the Sun, and it is virtually certain that planets exist out there that are smaller than Mercury. or. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? The theory passed with distinction. This line-up compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. Related Pages. Favourite answer. “This discovery is interesting on two accounts,” says astrophysicist Lars A. Buchhave, of Copenhagen University’s Niels Bohr Institute. All eyes and all telescopes are set on a newly-discovered planet which is strikingly similar to ours. For the many planetary scientists who adhere to a geophysical definition instead, dwarf planets are planets too, making Ceres the solar system’s smallest planet. Here’s What is the Biggest Planet in the Solar System?, What is the Second Largest Planet in the Solar System?, How Does Mercury Compare to Earth?, What is the Average Surface Temperature on Mercury?, How Long is a Day on Mercury?, and The Orbit of Mercury, How Long is a Year on Mercury?. Press alt + / to open this menu. In terms of volume, Mercury once again becomes a bit diminutive, at least by Earth standards. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. The Kepler space telescope discovered the planets thanks to a trick that exploits the fact that a star is eclipsed when a planet passes in front of it. Talk (0) Share. However, such gas planets may very well have a rocky moon the size of Earth, which has an atmosphere and a surface that can contain liquid water. Some of these are unconfirmed and/or controversial. However, it is also one of the densest, hottest and most irradiated. Danish scientists are trying to unify Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum mechanics to find out how the universe came into existence. And while it is smaller than the largest natural satellites in our Solar System – such as Ganymede and Titan – it is more massive. It looked Earth -like, but was scarcely big enough to stand on. So Mercury is only 38% the diameter of Earth. Phone +45 707 01 788. But in Mercury’s case, the core is oversized compared to the other terrestrial planets, measuring some 1,800 km (approx. Basically, Mercury has a volume of 6.083×1010 km³ (60 billion cubic km; 14.39 trillion cubic miles) which works out to 0.056 times the volume of the Earth. Oslo: c/o forskning.no, Postbox 5 Torshov, 0412 Oslo, Norway. Alternative ideas have been put forward to fix what astrophysicists see as a flaw in the standard Big Bang model. The mission requires technology that can measure distances of five million kilometres with the precision of a picometre – that's 0,00000000001cm. The IAU resolution represents just one view in an ongoing debate. 60 trillion km3 seems a bit much…. Like Earth, Venus and Mars, Mercury is a terrestrial planet, meaning that is primarily composed of silicate minerals and metals that are differentiated between a metallic core and a silicate mantle and crust. The sizes are listed in units of Earth radii (R ⊕). The rocky planet is unlikely to have an atmosphere and thus cannot support life as we know it. The smallest star in the universe is a Red Dwarf; the smallest star possible. According to most experiments conducted to determine the smallest object in the universe visible to the human eye, the most accepted conclusion is that under the ideal conditions, we could see objects as small as 0.1 mm. In our Solar System, Jupiter is the largest planet we have, but what’s the upper limit to planetary size? In fact, Mercury’s density (at 5.427 g/cm3) is the second highest in the Solar System, only slightly less than Earth’s (5.515 g/cm3). The Solar Planets are a nice mixed bag of what is possible when it comes to planetary formation. If we put our planets in ‘size order’ they would be listed as the following, from large to small: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury. The smallest planet in the Solar System is Mercury . Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system. 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