Mercury Facts

Mercury is a planet that has been known for a long time. However, Mercury is a planet that seems to get overlooked compared to Venus or Saturn.

Throughout history, Mercury has been known for thousands of years. The similarities of Earth and Mercury make this planet a wonder in every way. Discover more about Mercury below!

The name Mercury has origins to the history and mythology of the Romans

Mercury has mythology

Mercury is an interesting name for a planet. The history of this name originates from Greek and Roman mythology. The planet itself, Mercury, is named after the messenger of the Roman gods. The name of this planet is unforgettable for a reason.

Moreover, Mercury is as well known for being Hermes in Greek mythology. The name itself refers to the speed and more of Mercury within the solar system. Furthermore, Mercury has connotations to the message of speed and transport. In Rome around 2000 years, Mercury symbolized merchants, travelers, and more. In Greek mythology, Mercury was associated with a fast messenger of the Gods.

All in all, the name Mercury refers to the speed in which Mercury orbits the Sun. As well, the name Mercury is a symbol and honor to the Roman deity, who was able to deliver messages.


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The smallest planet in the solar system is Mercury

The smallest planet in the solar system

Many people may assume that the smallest planet is Pluto, but it is not considered a planet as it is too small.  Mercury has a diameter of 4,879 Kilometers or 3030 Miles.

Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system. In terms of its orbit, Mercury would take around 59 Earth days to make a complete revolution. Moreover, a year passing by on Mercury is faster overall than Earth.

One great detail, Mercury is nearest to the sun, but it takes a short time to go all the way around in orbit. This detail creates different conditions for this planet overall. Mercury has the tiniest tilt of all the planets in the Solar system.


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Mercury has around 38% of the gravity on Earth creating big changes

mercury planet surface

Mercury has a lot that separates it from Earth and the gravity issue does create a big difference overall. So, Mercury has a radically different atmosphere and weather changes that would not be seen on Earth.

In general, Mercury does not have the ability to contain the atmosphere. This means that when the Sun is not near the temperature drops significantly. The planetary conditions of Mercury are highly volatile and inhospitable for much life compared to Earth.

Moreover, the atmosphere of Mercury is so weak that it gets blown away by solar winds. Solar winds bring gases, radioactive elements and dust from meteorites that continually erode the atmosphere of Mercury.


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Mercury helped scientists and researchers to prove Einstein’s theory of relativity

Einstein’s theory of relativity

Einstein may have very well been helped by Mercury . The eccentric orbit that Mercury takes may have helped Einstein make some discoveries. Mercury is close to the sun so it gave scientists many benefits for research and discovery.

Einstein’s general theory of relativity came about because of what was seen with Mercury. The general theory of relativity is about the light of a star chang ing when other planets or stars orbit close by thus causing change. It is a wide ranging theory that comes from observation that proves true.

Lastly, it was scientists that were able to confirm the relativity theory because of radar signals that reflect from and off of Mercury. This theory of relativity states that the path of the signals would change a little if the Sun was nearby or present. Also, in comparison overall, the predictive path would confirm what general relativity predicts.


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Mercury experienced the most extreme temperature change in the Solar System

Mercury experienced the most extreme temperature change

The planet closest to the sun should always be the warmest. However, Mercury’s land temperature can become quite cold. So, the temperature range is so massive it will leave most to be in complete shock and confusion.

During the day, the temperatures on Mercury can reach up to 450 degrees Celsius or about 840 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature in itself is extreme to anyone on earth. However, at night, temperatures drop to as low as minus 275 F or around minus 170 Celsius.

Mercury’s lack of an atmosphere means that temperature will drop or rise depending on how close it is to the sun. During the day, the full force of the sun means incredibly hot temperatures. Therefore, you can expect a temperature swing of more than 1,100 Fahrenheit or around  600 degrees Celsius. This is the largest in the Solar System.


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Mercury has more similarities with Earth than it does with other planets

Mercury has more similarities with Earth

The planets in our solar system come in a variety of sizes and conditions. For instance, Mercury, like Earth, is a terrestrial planet. All in all, the planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are terrestrial because of various reasons.

Terrestrial planets like Mercury are more compact and  have rocky surfaces. Moreover, the terrestrial planets are also featured as the four innermost planets. A big difference is that Mercury, unlike Venus, Earth, and Mars does not  have a strong or stable atmosphere.

Mercury and Earth are doing orbits around the sun, which is a big similarity. The differences are more aligned with the time periods of the orbits. Furthermore, the orbital period of Mercury  is 365 days just like Earth. Lastly, Mercury will take 24 hours to rotate and go from night to day in a consistent cycle.


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Mercury is not visible in the sky like Venus from Earth

Mercury harder to see in the sky.

Of all the planets, Mercury may not be the easiest to spot overall. Moreover, compared to Venus, Mercury is not seen but there has been knowledge of this planet for a long time overall. If you want to see Mercury in the sky then it may be difficult as Mercury tends to be elusive.

Since Mercury is close to the sun then it makes it even harder to see in the sky. The challenge of seeing Mercury is made for various reasons. The Twilight of the Sun while it sets on Mercury is making visibility harder overall. You need a powerful telescope to be able to spot Mercury in the sky.

In the past, the skies were darker because there was no electricity. Therefore, the visibility of Mercury was much better than it is today. Darker skies make Mercury much more visible overall than in most cities with a lot of light pollution.


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Vulcan was a planet that was thought to be be between Mercury and the Sun

Vulcan planet

At one point, Vulcan was a planet thought to be existing near Mercury. This planet has a history that is at once tragic but also questionable. Vulcan was thought to be true as recently as the 19th Century.

Historically, Vulcan was thought to exist by a French Mathematician. In the 19th century, the French researcher explored and analyzed the odd conditions of Mercury must be caused by another planet or object nearby.

For example, the strange conditions of Mercury were due to Einstein’s theory of general relativity. However, the myth of Vulcan was extended because of a lot of media, books, and popular TV shows like Star Trek.


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Mercury compared to many planets has no moons or rings

Mercury has no moons or rings like Earth or Saturn

Mercury has no moons or rings like Earth or Saturn for example. Many researchers and scientists are trying to find the links and relations between various planets from Saturn to Earth. The conditions on Mercury are severe because it has no stability like Earth.

Overall, Mercury is very close to the Sun so this creates another physical environment and harsh reactive dynamic overall. The changes on mercury in terms of the weather are nothing like what we have on Earth. For example, the lack of gravity within Mercury thus is creating no moons or rings to be possible to support.

So, basically Mercury would not have the capacity or strength to hold on to its own moon. If Mercury had a  moon it may actually collide with Mercury itself and travel into orbit around the Sun. Mercury has no atmosphere of any kind to make it sustainable in any way.


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Mercury has water, ice, and various elements similar to Earth

Mercury has water, ice, and various

Mercury has water, ice, and organic elements. Even though Mercury is quite close to the sun it does indeed have these elements not associated with a hot planet near the sun.

The ice on Mercury is in shadowed craters of the planet that don’t receive any sunlight. What is defined as organics, which are the vital building blocks of life, are also existent on Mercury. The planet’s surface has more variety than expected because of the warmth and cold variance present all over Mercury.

Since Mercury has no atmosphere that is viable for life then most things can’t thrive or exist too long. The heat on the planet is intense and not sustainable for most known life. Organic compounds do exist in our solar system beyond Earth as Mercury shows.

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