6. Mercury: a battered world

Basic data

Physical properties of Mercury*

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Mass 3.302 x 1023 kilograms = 0.0553 ME
Mean radius 2.439 x 106 meters = 0.382 RE
Mean mass density 5,430 kilograms per cubic meter
Rotation period 58.646 Earth days
Orbital period 87.969 Earth days
Mean distance from Sun 5.79 x 1010 meters = 0.387 AU
Age 4.6 x 109 years
Atmosphere Very tenuous (helium, sodium, potassium)
Surface pressure 2 x 10-13 bars
Surface temperature 90 to 740 degrees kelvin
Magnetic field strength 0.0033 x 10-4 tesla at the equator = 0.01 BE
Magnetic dipole moment 5.54 x 1013 tesla meters cubed
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* The symbols ME, RE and BE respectively denote the mass, radius and magnetic field strength of the Earth.

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Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University