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Mercury
Mercury
Mercury as revealed by MESSENGER.
Diameter 4,880 km
3,032 miles

moons =0

Size Ranked 8th in the Solar System

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and it is the smallest planet in the Solar System. Mercury has no atmosphere, because of the surface temperatures are about 427°C (800°F).

MythologyEdit

The Romans named the planet after the swift-footed Roman messenger god, Mercury (Latin Mercurius), which they equated with the Greek Hermes, because it moves across the sky faster than any other planet.

OrbitEdit

The orbit of Mercury is the most eccentric of the planets in our Solar System. The planet has an orbital period of 87.969 Earth days.

SurfaceEdit

The surface of Mercury is marred by an impressive number of craters. The cratering is deeper than on most terrestrial planets because of its lack of an atmosphere. A thicker atmosphere would have slowed impacting bodies, making the craters more shallow.

ExplorationEdit

Mariner 10

This model of Mariner 10 shows the spacecraft as it appeared during flight.

MESSENGER

Artist's impression of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft in orbit at Mercury.

Two spacecraft have visited Mercury: Mariner 10 flew by in 1974 and 1975; 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.

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