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Solar System Tour (Planet Mercury)

Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System, 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.

Facts About Mercury

1. A year in Mercury is just 88 days long, One day on Mercury lasts the equivalent of 176 Earth days. Mercury is nearly tidally locked to the Sun and over time this has slowed the rotation of the planet to almost match its orbit around the Sun. Mercury also has the highest orbital eccentricity of all the planets with its distance from the Sun ranging from 46 to 70 million km

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2. Mercury is the second densest planet. Even though the planet is small, Mercury is very dense. Each cubic centimetre has a density of 5.4 grams, with only the Earth having a higher density. This is largely due to Mercury being composed mainly of heavy metals and rock.

3. Mercury has been known to humanity since ancient times and although its discovery date is unknown, the first mentions of the planet are believed to be around 3000 BC by the Sumerians.

4. Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system with a diameter of 4,879 km and is one of five planets that is visible to the naked eye.

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5. Mercury is named after the messenger of the Roman gods, who is also known as Hermes in Greek mythology. This is because of the speed in which Mercury orbits the Sun and the speed with which Mercury the Roman deity was able to deliver messages.

6. Mercury has no moons or rings because of its low gravity and lack of atmosphere.

7. Mercury does not experience any seasons. The axis of Mercury has the smallest tilt of all other planets, and this results in a lack of seasons on its surface.

8. Being so close to the Sun, the daytime temperature on Mercury is scorching – reaching over 400 Degrees Celsius. At night however, without an atmosphere to hold the heat in, the temperatures plummet, dropping to -180 Degrees Celsius.

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9. There is also no water on the surface of Mercury, it is possible however that there could be water underneath the surface. Likewise, there is no air on the surface but it could be trapped underneath.

10.Mercury is known as a terrestrial planet consisting of about 70% metallic and 30% silicate material.

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