Mercury > Venus > Earth  

Mass: 0.055 Earth mass

Radius: 0.3829 Earth radius

Density: 5.427 g/cm³

Semi-major axis: 0.387 098 AU

Eccentricity: 0.20563069

Orbital period: 87.969 Earth days

Rotation period: 1407.5 hours[1]

Atmosphere: Trace

Surface temperature: 80 to 700 K

Moons: 0

Discovery Information:

Discovery date: Always known.

Discoverer(s): The ancients.

Detection method: Unaided eye.

"There is neither air, or water on my surface also, I don't have any moons."
— Mercury
Formula: Hydrogen, helium, oxygen
Status: Alive
Age: 4.4 billion years
Distance: 25,000,000 miles
Temperature: -315°F to 648°F
Moon(s): 0
Ring(s): 0
Rotation: 59 days
Orbital motion: 1.6 miles/second
Type: Terrestrial planet, desert planet, rocky planet
Diameter: 3,026 miles
Gender: Male
Voice actor(s): Atham Do
Life forms: None
Mass: 75 times Ceres

Mercury in color - Prockter07 centered

Mercury is the first and the smallest planet in the solar system. It is also the first of the four terrestrial planets of our solar system. The first recorded observation goes back to one millennium BC. Mercury is very similar to our own moon, it is gray and has a lot craters. However, Mercury is 1.5 times bigger than the moon. Greek astronomers believed that it consisted of two objects: Apollo and Hermes. Hermes was only visible at evening twilight while Apollo was visible overday. Later the Romans called it Mercury, after their god of messengers. Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System,Template:Efn with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days. Seen from Earth, it appears to move around its orbit in about 116 days, which is much faster than any other planet in the Solar System. It has no known natural satellites. The planet is named after the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger to the gods.

Because it has almost no atmosphere to retain heat, Mercury's surface experiences the greatest temperature variation of the planets in the Solar System, ranging from Template:Convert at night to Template:Convert during the day at some equatorial regions. The poles are constantly below Template:Convert. Mercury's axis has the smallest tilt of any of the Solar System's planets (about Template:Frac of a degree), but it has the largest orbital eccentricity.Template:Efn At aphelion, Mercury is about 1.5 times as far from the Sun as it is at perihelion. Mercury's surface is heavily cratered and similar in appearance to the Moon, indicating that it has been geologically inactive for billions of years.

Mercury is gravitationally locked and rotates in a way that is unique in the Solar System. As seen relative to the fixed stars, it rotates on its axis exactly three times for every two revolutions it makes around the Sun.Template:Efn[2] As seen from the Sun, in a frame of reference that rotates with the orbital motion, it appears to rotate only once every two Mercurian years. An observer on Mercury would therefore see only one day every two years.

Mercury is gravitationally locked and rotates in a way that is unique in the Solar System. As seen relative to the fixed stars, it rotates on its axis exactly three times for every two revolutions it makes around the Sun.Template:Efn[2] As seen from the Sun, in a frame of reference that rotates with the orbital motion, it appears to rotate only once every two Mercurian years. An observer on Mercury would therefore see only one day every two years.

Because Mercury orbits the Sun within Earth's orbit (as does Venus), it can appear in Earth's sky in the morning or the evening, but not in the middle of the night. Also, like Venus and the Moon, it displays a complete range of phases as it moves around its orbit relative to Earth. Although Mercury can appear as a bright object when viewed from Earth, its proximity to the Sun makes it more difficult to see than Venus. Two spacecraft have visited Mercury: Template:Nowrap flew by in the 1970s; and MESSENGER, launched in 2004, orbited Mercury over 4,000 times in four years, before exhausting its fuel and crashing into the planet's surface on April 30, 2015.[3][4][5]

Exploration of MercuryEdit

There were two flyby missions from NASA: Mariner 10 and MESSENGER. MESSENGER made a fly-by of Mercury on 14 January 2008, to further investigate the observations made by Mariner 10 in 1975. A third mission, BepiColombo will carry two probes to Mercury. BepiColombo is an collaboration between Japan and ESA.


Mercury's gravity is too weak to hold an atmosphere. However, there is a sort of 'exosphere' which holds: oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium and potassium. There are traces of argon, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, xenon, krypton and neon. The source of these elements is still uncertain. However, scientists believe that the oxygen and helium is coming from the solar winds. The other elements come from evaporating volcanoes.


Mercury (IPA: /ˈmɚkjəri/) is the innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System, quickly orbiting the Sun once every 87.969 Earth days. The orbit of Mercury has the highest eccentricity out of all the planets in the Solar System, and it has the smallest axial tilt. Mercury is nearly tidally locked to the Sun meaning just over half of it's surface always faces the Sun, this paired with the fact that Mercury has an extremely thin atmosphere makes for extreme temperature differences between the "dark side" and "light side".

Internal structure Edit

File:Internal Structure of Mercury.jpg

Mercury is one of four terrestrial planets in the Solar System, and is a rocky body like Earth. It is the smallest planet in the Solar System, with an equatorial radius of Template:Convert.[6] Mercury is also smaller—albeit more massive—than the largest natural satellites in the Solar System, Ganymede and Titan. Mercury consists of approximately 70% metallic and 30% silicate material.[7] Mercury's density is the second highest in the Solar System at 5.427 g/cm3, only slightly less than Earth's density of 5.515 g/cm3.[6] If the effect of gravitational compression were to be factored out, the materials of which Mercury is made would be denser, with an uncompressed density of 5.3 g/cm3 versus Earth's 4.4 g/cm3.[8]

Mercury's density can be used to infer details of its inner structure. Although Earth's high density results appreciably from gravitational compression, particularly at the core, Mercury is much smaller and its inner regions are not as compressed. Therefore, for it to have such a high density, its core must be large and rich in iron.[9]

Geologists estimate that Mercury's core occupies about 42% of its volume; for Earth this proportion is 17%. Research published in 2007 suggests that Mercury has a molten core.[10][11] Surrounding the core is a 500–700 km mantle consisting of silicates.[12][13] Based on data from the Template:Nowrap mission and Earth-based observation, Mercury's crust is estimated to be 100–300 km thick.[14] One distinctive feature of Mercury's surface is the presence of numerous narrow ridges, extending up to several hundred kilometers in length. It is thought that these were formed as Mercury's core and mantle cooled and contracted at a time when the crust had already solidified.[15]

Mercury's core has a higher iron content than that of any other major planet in the Solar System, and several theories have been proposed to explain this. The most widely accepted theory is that Mercury originally had a metal-silicate ratio similar to common chondrite meteorites, thought to be typical of the Solar System's rocky matter, and a mass approximately 2.25 times its current mass.[16] Early in the Solar System's history, Mercury may have been struck by a planetesimal of approximately 1/6 that mass and several thousand kilometers across.[16] The impact would have stripped away much of the original crust and mantle, leaving the core behind as a relatively major component.[16] A similar process, known as the giant impact hypothesis, has been proposed to explain the formation of the Moon.[16]

Mercury at glance Edit

  • Distance: 25,000,000 miles
  • Diameter: 3,031 miles
  • Length of year: 88 earth-days
  • Rotation period: 24 hours & 4 minutes
  • Temperature: -315°F to 648°F
  • Atmosphere: Hydrogen (H2), helium (He), oxygen (O2).
  • Number of satellites: None.
  • Orbital speed: 0.6 mi/sec
  • Type: Terrestrial Planet, Desert planet.


  • Smallest known planet.
  • Speediest planet around the Sun.
  • Even though closest to the Sun, it is not the hottest planet (Venus is).
  • Mercury has a very thin atmosphere.
  • Has no moon.
  • Because Mercury has a very thin atmosphere the craters on its surface are from the late heavy bombardment period around 4.5 billion years ago which means unlike on Earth the craters do not erode away.
  • It is named after the Roman Messenger to the gods Mercury.
  • Mercury, an element of the Table of elements, is named after this planet.



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