Mercury is the first planet of our Solar system. It is the smallest planet in the Solar system and also it is closest to the sun. It has the shortest orbit around the sun from all the other planets in our Solar system. Let’s discuss some interesting facts about Mercury, the smallest planet.
Mercury’s orbit is about 87.97 Earth days around the sun. The name of the Mercury was decided after the Roman God Mercurius. Mercury’s orbit lies inside Earth’s orbit, the same as planet Venus. That is why it is an inferior planet.
Facts About Mercury
One can only see Mercury after the sunset near the western horizon or it can also be seen before sunrise near the eastern horizon. Its synodic period/orbital period is 115.88 days. The synodic period is the time an astronomical object takes to complete one orbit around another astronomical object.
Mercury is tidally locked with the sun the way it rotates around the sun is unique. Mercury has a rocky surface like earth and it is one of the four Terrestrial planets in our solar system. Other terrestrial planets include ( Venus, The Earth, and Mars).
When we talk about the Surface of mercury then its surface is similar to the surface of the Earth’s moon. The surface of the mercury has heavy craters and plains also this planet was biologically inactive for a long period of time.
There are hundreds of craters on the surface of the Mercury. These craters are of different sizes. Some bowl-shaped craters while others multi-ringed craters. Caloris Basin is the largest crater that scientists know of. And, it has a diameter of about 1500 kilometers.
In extreme places, the surface temperatures of Mercury ranges between 100 to 700 K. but on the poles, the maximum temperature is 180 K. The temperature does not rise above 180 K on the poles. The planet does not have any atmosphere. On the dark sides of the planet Mercury, the average temperature is 110 K.
Habitable For Life?
Mercury completes its orbit in 87 Earth days. The scientists believe that some areas on the surface of the planet look habitable which means the planet may have supported life such as small microorganisms in the past.
How far is Mercury from the sun?
Mercury is the first planet and its distance from the sun is 68.862 million kilometers.
How far away is Mercury from Venus?
Mercury is about 31.1 million miles away from Venus.
What size is mercury in the solar system?
Mercury has a radius of 2440 kilometers which makes it the smallest planet among all other planets of our Solar system.
Can we live on Mercury?
Mercury is not a place to live at. It is a planet of extreme temperatures with the temperature rising above 430 degrees Celsius and can drop up to 180-degree celsius. Life is not possible to survive on this planet, also no evidence of life has found on Mercury’s surface. But, some particular areas on the planet may have supported life for some time period in the past.
What is Mercury made of?
One of the facts about Mercury is that Mercury is a Moon-like planet and it has a huge iron core. 70% of Mercury’s weight is Iron and due to this Mercury becomes the iron-rich Planet of the solar system.