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# How much bigger is the planet Mercury than our moon?

Question #106807. Asked by david1975. (Jul 03 09 8:54 PM)

Juggernaut314

From "http://btc.montana.edu/messenger/elusive_planet/fastfact_5.php"

Mercury is the second smallest planet; only Pluto is smaller. Mercury’s diameter is 4879 km, while Earth’s is 12,756 km. In fact, Mercury is not much larger than our Moon, which has a diameter of 3475 km.

 Jul 03 09, 8:57 PM
ArlingtonVA

Mercury's mass is 4.6 times that of the moon. Mercury's mass is 3.3x10^23 kg, and the moon's is 7.35x10^22 kg. In terms of radius, Mercury is 2,440 km and the moon is 1,737. That is only 1.4 times larger.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(planet)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

 Jul 03 09, 9:15 PM
barnhill23

Mercury's volume is approimately 60.8 billion cubic kilometers, while our moon's volume is about 22 billion cubic kilometers. This means Mercury is about 2.76 times as large as the moon. Volume is only one way to measure size, but I think it works best in this case.

 Jul 03 09, 9:16 PM
Watchkeeper

You are right, barnhill23. Looking at a balloon and a cricket ball, one would say the balloon is bigger even though the cricket ball is more massive.

Using the figures given by ArlingtonVA, the ratio of the radii is 2440km/1737km or 1.405.

Raising this to the third power (volume is proportional to the cube of the radius) shows Mercury to be 2.772 times bigger than the Moon, in agreement with your approximate figure.

 Jul 04 09, 11:04 AM

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