On the 12th August, Suzie Imber spoke to Stemettes to discuss her favourite planet -Mercury. She also describes the questions we have about Mercury and all the ways these questions are trying to be answered.

So, what does the inside of Mercury look like? Unlike many other planets, Mercury is made of nearly all metal, with a solid iron inner core and a liquid iron outer core. Although earlier theories believed that Mercury was hit by a large rock causing it to lose all of its outer rock, this theory was disproved. So, even though we know what Mercury looks like, we do not know why it looks that way!

Does Mercury contain any water? Whilst Mercury doesn’t have any liquid water, it does contain ice found in polar deposits. These ice deposits are so interesting because Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, and in theory, should not contain any ice. However, the craters are so deep that they are completely shielded from the sun and the ice is able to exist.

If there is ice, does this mean there is the possibility of life on Mercury? Sadly, there is little possibility of sustaining life on Mercury because the environment is so harsh. Being the closest planet to the sun, it can reach up to 450 degrees Celsius and the suns rays are extremely damaging. In the same vein, it can turn to -180 degrees Celsius on the nights, which can be too cold for anything to survive.

Whilst this means that other species, including humans, cannot live on Mercury, it is possible that we will be able to live on other planets. Suzie thinks we will live on first have a moon village, and then move to Mars when we learn how to protect ourselves from the sun, as Mars does not have a magnetic field. Until then, we will have to continue learning about these amazing planets.

Want to find out more about Suzie Imber? You can find her on the University of Leicester website here or on her twitter here.

Want to find out more about Mercury? You can look on NASA’s website here.

Now read:
8 things you didn’t know about space
7 Space Industry jobs you didn’t know about, but 100% should


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