Interesting Facts About Mercury

interesting facts mercury

Mercury is an interesting planet with very peculiar characteristics. It’s the first planet that’s located close to our Sun. This means that it has some unique features. Over the years, scientists have uncovered some interesting facts about Mercury and they include:

1. It Is the Smallest In the Solar System

It has a diameter of around 3030 miles. This is around the size of the United States’ continent. It’s just slightly larger than the Earth’s moon. Despite its size, it’s one of the planets that can be seen with naked eyes from the earth. This is because it measures around 4,879 KM across its equator.


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2. It Is 2nd Hottest Planet

Although is located so close to our Sun, it’s not the hottest. Venus, a planet that’s second-placed, is in fact, hottest. Well, this occurs because Mercury doesn’t have an atmosphere that can assist it in temperature regulation. Scientists estimate that the average temperature of Mercury can reach highs of 427C and lows of around -173C.


3. It’s The Second Densest Planet

Although it is the smallest in our solar system, it’s also so dense. The earth has the highest density followed by Mercury. Note that for every cubic centimeter, there is 5.4g. Well, this happens because this planet contains numerous rocks and heavy metals.


4. It Has The Thinnest Atmosphere In The Solar System

Out of all the planets in the solar system, Mercury has the thinnest atmosphere. According to scientists, the atmosphere is known as the exosphere because it is so thin. However, it’s worth noting that other bodies in the solar system including the moon also have this type of atmosphere.


5. It Has Ice Water And Organics On It

This is one of the most interesting facts about Mercury. Its close proximity to the Sun may make you think it’s impossible to have water on this planet. However, reports by scientists indicate otherwise. Its craters contain ice! The availability of water is possible because some of the craters are shadowed. Therefore, they are not exposed to sunlight.

There are also other organic things on this planet. This indicates that it could be able to support life. However, it doesn’t have a good atmosphere to support human life. Additionally, it’s too hot for most living things and its surface contains sulfur in higher concentrations.


6. We Can See It Once Every Seven Years

It’s possible to see this planet from the earth. However, this phenomenon which is known as transit occurs once every seven years. During the transit, Mercury is said to be crossing the Sun’s face.


7. It Has A Tail!

Recent research has established that this planet has a tail! According to scientists, when Mercury moves there is a tail that resembles a comet behind it. It is said that this tail consists of sodium atoms.


8. It’s a Planet With The Most Craters In The Solar System

Scientists have established this is the most cratered planet found in our solar system. Although other planets have craters, they normally “heal” naturally via geological processes. Mercury, on the other hand, seems to have so many encounters with numerous comets and asteroids that it never successfully undergoes a self-healing process.


9. There Are No Seasons In Mercury

While on earth we experience different seasons, there is nothing like that on Mercury. This planet axis’ is the smallest in our solar system. As a result, it lacks any season.


10. A Year In Mercury Is Just 88 days

One year on earth consists of 365 days. However, it takes 88 days only to complete one year in Mercury. It’s also worth noting that a solar day in mercury is equivalent to 176 days on our Planet!

spacecraft visits interesting facts mercury

11. Mercury Has Been Visited By Only 2 Spacecraft

Mercury’s close proximity to Sun makes it very challenging to access it. Additionally, any spacecraft that plans to visit it needs to travel around 91 million KM into the gravitational potential of the Sun. These factors make it challenging to access it. The first time it was visited is in 1974 by the Mariner 10 while the second time was in 2004 by a Messenger Probe.

Final Thoughts

The fact that we are able to see this planet from the earth makes it interesting. It’s also the smallest planet which is filled with numerous craters. Overall, Mercury has numerous interesting facts about it and these are just a few among the many. Check out this link for more interesting facts about space.