On the variations in the insolation at Mercury resulting from oscillations of the orbital eccentricity
Van Hemelrijck, E.
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This paper describes variations in the insolation on Mercury resulting from fluctuations of the orbital eccentricity (0.11≤e≤0.24) of the planet. Equations for the instantaneous and the daily insolation are briefly discussed and several numerical examples are given illustrating the sensitivity of the solar radiation to changes in e. Special attention is paid to the behavior of the solar radiation distribution curves near sunrise and sunset which at the warm pole of Mercury (longitudes ±90°) occur as the planet goes through perihelion. It has been found that for eccentricities larger than about 0.194 there exists two permanent thermal bulges on opposite sides of the Mercurian surface that alternately point to the Sun at every perihelion passage. The critical value of e past which the Sun shortly sets after perihelion is near 0.213.
CitationVan Hemelrijck, E. (1983). On the variations in the insolation at Mercury resulting from oscillations of the orbital eccentricity. , The Moon and the Planets, Vol. 29, Issue 1, 83-93, DOI: 10.1007/BF00928377.