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MercuryHere are some facts about Mercury:

  • small and rocky terrestrial planet
  • closest to the sun and has no moons
  • orbit is elliptical
  • distance from the sun
    • closest point: 47 million kilometers away from sun
    • farthest point: 69,820,000 kilometers away from sun
  • revolution takes about 88 Earth days
  • rotation takes 58.646 Earth days
  • extreme temperatures
    • hottest: 467oC
    • coldest: -183oC
  • mass: 0.055 times the mass of Earth or 330,220,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms
  • surface area: 0.108 times the surface area of Earth or 28,900,000 square miles
  • named after the messenger of the Roman gods, Mercury
  • the only space probe that has visited Mercury is the United States Mariner 10
    • flew within 460 miles of Mercury on March 29, 1974, September 24, 1974, and March 16, 1975
    • it photographed the surface and detected the magnetic field of Mercury
    • because of Venus' gravity pulling on the space probe, it reached Mercury in less time and used less fuel
  • now, there is another U.S. probe, the Messenger, that is scheduled to fly by Mercury in twice in 2008 and once in 2009 before going into orbit for one Earth year around Mercury in 2011
    • it will map Mercury's surface, study what it is made of, study its interior structure, and look at and report its magnetic field

If would you like to see an up close picture of craters on Mercury then Click Here



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