Last updated on September 10th, 2017
Among the eight planets in the Solar System, Mercury is the closest to the Sun and has a lot of significant information that can be collected. With these 33 facts about Mercury, let’s learn more about it.
Mercury’s characteristics and composition
#1. Mercury is closest to the Sun as compared to other planets.
#2. It is the fastest planet to travel through space, at an incredible speed of 50 km per second (180,000 km/h). It completes one revolution around the Sun in 88 days.
#3. Impact basins (an approximately circular depression in the surface of a planet, the moon, or another solid body in the Solar System or elsewhere, formed by the hypervelocity impact of a smaller body.) as larger as 1550 km, in diameter, can be found on the surface of Mercury.
#4. Did you know that Mercury’s outer shell is only 400 km thick?
#5. Mercury is greyish-brown in color. This is the color that has been recorded from the ground and space-based observations.
#6. Mercury is a terrestrial planet. Mercury’s magnetic field is just 1% of that of the Earth.
#7. Mercury can be observed 13 times every 100 years from Earth. The event of the passing of Mercury across the face of the Sun is called “transit.”
#8. Mercury is devoid of any moons or rings. Mercury and Venus are the only planets in the Solar System that do not have moons. Thus, it has no moons during the night to illuminate it like Earth.
#9. Mercury is named after the Roman messenger of gods. The name was chosen because of the high speed with which Mercury revolves around the Sun.
#10. Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system. In size, Mercury is comparable to Earth’s moon but slightly larger than it.
#11. Mercury is the second densest planet after Earth. This is mainly because of its composition of heavy metals and rock.
#12. Just like old age humans, Mercury has also developed wrinkles that can be up to a mile high and hundreds of miles long.
#13. Mercury is not as hot as you would think because of its proximity to the Sun. In fact, it is the second hottest planet in the Solar System. The planet’s side facing the Sun can be as hot as 427 degree Celsius but its opposite side, at the same time, has a temperature of minus 173 degree Celsius. The difference in the temperature is mainly because of the lack of environment/atmosphere to regulate the planet’s temperature.
#14. Mercury has the largest range of surface temperature found on any planet – “minus 170 degree Celsius to 430 degree Celsius.”
#15. Mercury’s surface has three significant features – craters, plains, and cliffs.
#16. If one would stand on the Sun-facing side of Mercury when it is closest to it, the Sun would appear three times as large when viewed from Mercury as compared to when viewed from Earth.
#17. Mercury’s surface is similar to that of Earth’s moons.
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