Scientists think that there has never been life on Mercury. Mercury's atmosphere is essentially non-existent. Mercury is an inhospitable and barren planet. Mercury would need to have temperatures that enable liquid water to persist on its surface for lengthy periods of time in order for life (as we know it) to exist. Scientists estimate that such conditions could occur only during certain periods of the planet's history. These events are called "harbours". The next one is expected in 2036.
The discovery of organic molecules in the regolith of Mars was a major event in the history of science, because it showed that life may not be unique to Earth. However, these findings were later explained by some scientists as resulting from existing on other planets or moons before being deposited by cosmic rays or wind.
A Difficult Place to Live There is no indication of life on Mercury. Temperatures during the day can reach 430 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Fahrenheit) while at night can dip to -180 degrees Celsius (-290 degrees Fahrenheit). Life (as we know it) is unlikely to exist on this planet.
But Scientists Say It Is Alive! Scientists believe that there is water under the surface of the planet's crust which keeps its core cool enough for life as we know it. They also say that there is organic matter in the form of gases such as methane which could provide energy for living organisms. However, it is likely that these findings are simply conclusions based on good science rather than actual evidence of life elsewhere in the universe.
The idea of life on other planets has fascinated humans for many years. The quest for alien life has led to some interesting discoveries about our own planet. For example, scientists have used meteorites as evidence that Mars once had water on its surface. They find fossils in the rocks which show that these ancient Martian waters may have been quite acidic.
There are also theories about Earth's moon which include ideas such as "Lunar Life" and "Moon Bacteria". The "Lunar Life" theory suggests that there is ice under the lunar surface which contains chemicals that are similar to those found in biology labs which could support life.
Mercury cannot support life since it lacks oxygen, water, and air, the temperature is exceedingly high, and plants cannot grow on its surface, preventing food production. However, some species of bacteria have been found living in shallow waters on the planet's surface and may be capable of producing oxygen.
Earth's only natural satellite is also the closest planet to our own, and from space it looks exactly like any other planet - until you land on it. With a dense atmosphere, tumultuous weather patterns, and an extremely hot surface, Mars is very different to Earth. But despite this, scientists have discovered evidence that supports the idea that at one time it could have supported microbial life.
We know this because many basic chemicals necessary for life are found in Martian rocks and soil. For example, scientists have found chlorine atoms in Martian ice caps, which would not be there if it had once contained more liquid water. They have also found evidence that points toward acidity levels in Martian water that would have been suitable for supporting life as we know it.
It is even possible that there is currently life on Mars today but we can't see it because it is hidden beneath the planet's crust or inside its volcanoes.
The surface temperature of Mercury reaches a blistering 430 degrees Celsius [800 degrees Fahrenheit] during the day and plummets to -180 degrees Celsius [-290 F] at night in the absence of an atmosphere. As a result, its surface conditions have been appropriately removed from scientific consideration as a probable host of life.
However, even with this severe climate change occurring every 24 hours, there are regions on Mercury where temperatures remain relatively constant all year round. These cold spots form where there are rocks or minerals that retain heat from the interior of the planet. The most significant example is the Mariner 10 spacecraft data which showed that the north pole is much warmer than the south pole. This is because the rock at the north pole is still hot from when it was formed many millions of years ago before all the ice caps covered up most of the planet.
Another example are the large volcanoes on Mercury. They emit huge amounts of thermal energy into their surrounding areas causing local temperatures to rise high enough for water to boil.
But despite these few places where things aren't too extreme on Mercury, the overall picture is one of terrible hardship. There are no clouds or any other form of atmospheric protection from the sun's radiation so everything on Mercury is fried by ultraviolet light within minutes of being exposed to it. The only thing that saves anything are the occasional volcanic eruptions that cover parts of the planet in warm gas bubbles that keep some areas marginally more hospitable than others.
Mercury completes one orbit around the Sun (one year in Mercury time) in just 88 Earth days. Mercury, like the Earth's moon, has a solid, cratered surface. Mercury's thin atmosphere, or exosphere, is largely made up of oxygen (O2), sodium (Na), hydrogen (H2), helium (He), and potassium (K). The origin of hydrogen in the planet's atmosphere is not known.
Although only three percent of the Earth's mass, mercury is responsible for more than half of its solar radiation because it is so close to the Earth. This makes it the most active planet beyond Earth's Moon.
The presence of mercury in our environment comes from two sources: natural emissions and human activity. Natural emissions come from volcanoes and other geologic processes that release gases such as sulfur dioxide and ash into the atmosphere, which then condense into particles that can travel long distances. Human activity adds additional amounts of mercury to the environment through both intentional and unintentional means. Intentional additions are made when humans extract and use mercury for various purposes including dental fillings, chemical products, and weapons production. Unintentional additions occur when people dump hazardous materials in landfills or burn them with out-of-date electrical equipment.
When sunlight reaches the surface of the Earth, some of it is reflected back into space. But much of it is absorbed by the atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise.
Mercury is virtually completely devoid of atmosphere. Because of the planet's tiny size, its gravity is insufficient to support a regular atmosphere. The planet is surrounded by an extremely thin atmosphere. The pressure of sunlight and the solar wind continually "blows away" Mercury's tiny atmosphere into space.
The reason for Mercury's lack of atmosphere has to do with the way the planet was formed. Scientists think that most planets like Earth developed an initial atmosphere that was later blown away by powerful winds. Because of this theory, scientists believe that any atmosphere that does exist on Mercury today is very tenuous.
However, there are some signs that something may be hiding in Mercury's clouds. Researchers using data from NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft have found evidence of large deposits of water ice near the planet's south pole. These findings were confirmed by measurements made by the European Space Agency's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MEPA). The MEPA probe discovered that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases during certain parts of the year when the sun is directly over the south pole. This indicates that the ice is likely to be stored as liquid water and then frozen during the dark periods.
Scientists also suspect that there may be large reservoirs of liquid water deep under Mercury's surface. The source of these waters could be the cracking and melting of rock caused by the heat from within the planet itself.