What is Mercury? Smallest planet in our Solar System. Closest Planet to the Sun. 57,910,000 km from the Sun.
Size Diameter- 4879.4 km Density- 5.43 g/cm3 Mass- 3.303 X 10^23 Volume- 6.84 X 10^10 km3
Characteristics Mercury is much like the moon. Heavy bombardment from formation of solar system left a crater- filled surface. Iron core, silicate surface. Extremely thin atmosphere made up of hydrogen, helium and oxygen.
Features Mercury is full of many craters, largest called Beethoven- 643 km. Beethoven is also the largest crater in our solar system! Caloris Basin- very large left from impact. “Wrinkle Ridges” scattered across planet suggest that the planet cooled down and shrunk in the past, causing squeezing and lifting of the surface.
Odd fact about craters on Mercury Although Mercury is the hottest planet, being closest to the sun, some craters have ice in them, because the sun never reaches into the shadows due to the planets tilt and orbit!
Weather Temperature range: -173 degrees C to 427 degrees C NO winds NO moons Slight magnetic field
Orbit Mercury Orbits the sun in 88 earth days. 1 year on Mercury is a day and a half on earth! Mercury is named by the Romans after the fleet footed messenger of the gods because it seemed to move more quickly than any other planet.
Works Cited Strathopoulos, Vinny. The planet Mercury. ASG space shop, 10 July 2000. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.. Smith, Marget. National geographic. Du point, 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 8 Feb. 2011. Melbourne, John. "Mercury, the Sun’s Closest Planetary Neighbor." www.space.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2011..