Can Life Exist on Mercury?

can-life-exist-mercury Credit: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Universe Today describes the planet Mercury as a barren, lifeless rock that cannot support life. Among other conditions necessary for the formation and sustainability of life, liquid water is necessary. While scientists have found evidence of liquid water on a few parts of Mercury, the planet remains inhospitable to life.

Aside from the need for water, most organisms on Earth require an atmosphere that contains breathable air. Mercury is so small that its gravity is insufficient to retain an atmosphere. Because the planet lacks an atmosphere, the temperatures are too hot in the sun and too cold in the shade. Temperatures on the planet range from just above absolute zero to nearly 800 degrees Fahrenheit.