10 Facts About Mercury
For more information on Mercury, check out our article: What Solar System Are We In.
10 Facts About Mercury – the First Planet from the Sun
Regardless of how hard it’s been to get to know Mercury on the level we’ve desired, we now know more about this planet than ever before.
With Mercury being the closest planet to the Sun, it’s very difficult to send spacecraft there to visit it, gather information and relay that back to us here on Earth.
Regardless, we as humans are prone to overcome. In the 1970’s we sent the Mariner 10 spacecraft to Mercury and did a fly by, getting some data and learning more than we had by just staring at it.
Then, in 2008, NASA sent the Messenger spacecraft. On this trip, we really got our hands dirty and learned a ton about Mercury, enough for us to fall in love with the planet closest to the Sun.
Check out these 10 Facts About Mercury and see what’s so great about the first planet in our Solar System.
Mercury is the smallest of all the 8 planets in our Solar System.
That wasn’t always the case, on September 13, 2006, Pluto was classified as a dwarf planet.
One day on Mercury is equal to 176 Earth days.
Over the years of rotating around the Sun, Mercury’s rotation has been slowed to match its solar orbit around the Sun.
Mercury is the second densest planet.
Second only to yours truly, the Earth.
Mercury is the second hottest planet.
While Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, Venus has a higher average temperature than Mercury.
Mercury has no atmosphere, kind of.
Mercury’s gravity is only 38% of the gravity on Earth, which isn’t enough to create and retain an atmosphere.
Mercury has a very elliptical orbit.
It takes Mercury ~88 Earth days to orbit the Sun, from the vantage point on Earth – Mercury appears to orbit the Sun every 116 Earth days.
Mercury has the greatest amount of craters of any planet.
Mercury has been dormant for so long, it no longer has the natural geological functions needed to heal itself when its surface is hit by asteroids or comets.
Mercury has water ice on it.
Mercury’s craters and basins are so deep, they actually shield the area inside of themselves from the heat of the Sun.
We’ve only sent visitors to Mercury, twice.
Because Mercury is so close to the Sun, it makes sending objects to Mercury difficult and keeping objects in orbit even more difficult.
Mercury’s core is massive.
Mercury’s iron core is believed to be ~40% of its total volume. Earth’s core is only about 17% of its volume.
For more Cool Facts About Mercury, check out this article and make sure to leave a comment.
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