Planet Mercury

From Pale Pink Dot to Dynamic World

  • David A. Rothery

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. David A. Rothery
    Pages 1-17
  3. David A. Rothery
    Pages 19-51
  4. David A. Rothery
    Pages 53-84
  5. David A. Rothery
    Pages 85-146
  6. David A. Rothery
    Pages 147-155
  7. David A. Rothery
    Pages 167-172
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 173-180

About this book


A new and detailed picture of Mercury is emerging thanks to NASA’s MESSENGER mission that spent four years in orbit about the Sun’s innermost planet. Comprehensively illustrated by close-up images and other data, the author describes Mercury’s landscapes from a geological perspective: from sublimation hollows, to volcanic vents, to lava plains, to giant thrust faults. He considers what its giant core, internal structure and weird composition have to tell us about the formation and evolution of a planet so close to the Sun. This is of special significance in view of the discovery of so many exoplanets in similarly close orbits about their stars. Mercury generates its own magnetic field, like the Earth (but unlike Venus, Mars and the Moon), and the interplay between Mercury’s and the Sun’s magnetic field affects many processes on its surface and in the rich and diverse exosphere of neutral and charged particles surrounding the planet.

There is much about Mercury that we still don’t understand. Accessible to the amateur, but also a handy state-of-the-art digest for students and researchers, the book shows how our knowledge of Mercury developed over the past century of ground-based, fly-by and orbital observations, and looks ahead at the mysteries remaining for future missions to explore.


BepiColombo Space Mission MESSENGER Space Mission Mariner 10 Space Mission Mercury Space Missions Mercury and Exoplanets Mercury's Interior Mercury's Magnetosphere Mercury's Origin and Evolution Mercury's Surface Mercury's Volcanos Understanding Mercury

Authors and affiliations

  • David A. Rothery
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical SciencesThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information