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Part-3 Basic astronomy knowledge series. Learn about Mercury here.

Updated on January 30, 2014

Mercury's position !!!!

Location of Mercury in solar system

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun or you can say Mercury is the Sun's little neighbor. Mercury is an average distance around 48 million miles away from the earth. Mercury is fastest and innermost planet of our solar system.

Basic about mercury

(1) Mercury is so close to the Sun, in fact that it only takes 88 earth days to complete its journey around the Sun.

(2) It spins on its own axis very slowly but travels around the Sun quickly.

(3) It is located around 58 million kilometer from the Sun.

(4) Mercury has rocky surface similar to our moon and second smallest planet of our solar system.

(5) Mercury is the most difficult to viewed from Earth. Mercury is the brightest object in the Earth's sky. The only time to catch a glimpse of Mercury is at sunset or at dawn, when it is close to the horizon.

(6) There are no rings around Mercury.

(7) Mercury has no moons, means no natural satellite orbiting around the planet.

(8) Mercury has 38% the gravity of Earth and that's why it is difficult for Mercury to hold an atmosphere. Mercury has very thin atmosphere and contains small amount of helium, oxygen and hydrogen.

(9) Mercury has dusty surface dotted with thousands of craters.

(10) The surface temperature of Mercury on daytime is up to 427 degree C but a long night on Mercury may be as low as -185 degree C.

(11) The biggest temperature in the solar system occur on Mercury.

(12) Diameter if Mercury is around 4878 Kilometers.

(13) Mercury has a significant magnetic field. It is string as 1.1% of Earths's and it is strong enough to deflect the solar wind around the planet so creating magnetosphere.

(14) Mercury does not have season like we experience on earth.

(15) No evidence for life has been found on Mercury.

(16) When you stand at surface of Mercury, the Sun will look three times larger than as you seen on Earth.

(17) Results from various mission shows that Mercury has an unexpectedly complex internal structure.




Scientific missions to Mercury

Till there were only two mission launched to study the Mercury .The objectives behind the missions were to study the Mercury surface form orbit, exosphere , geologic history and technological reserach of interplanetary maneuvers.

(1) Space probe Mariner 10

Mariner 10 was the NASA' s space probe lunched in year 1973, to fly around Mercury and Venus.

(2) Messenger spacecraft

Messenger is also NASA' s spacecraft launched in year 2004, to orbit the planet Mercury.

Results from missions :

The messenger mission were conducted to map the surface composition,structure and magnetic field.

Results from the Messenger mission are best described at NASA's website. Thanks to NASA for sharing such great information.

Visit the link capsule.

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