What Do You Know About Mercury?
How big is the largest crater on Mercury?
- You could fit the entirety of Western Europe into the biggest crater on Mercury, called the Caloris Basin, measuring approximately 963 miles in diameter.
When is the first record of Mercury being spotted by an ancient astronomer?
- Timocharis was a Greek astronomer who first recorded Mercury in 265 BC, with the Romans recognizing Mercury as a star that represented the Greek god Hermes.
How long is 1 Mercurial year in Earth days?
- The orbital period of Mercury lasts nearly 90 Earth days, making a year on Mercury quite fast, comparatively.
How close is Mercury to the Sun?
- As the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury orbits at only 1/3 of Earth's distance to the star.
What did the god Mercury represent to the ancient Romans?
- As the messenger of the gods, Mercury has flighty shoes and a helmet that gives him speed, matching Mercury's swift orbit of the Sun. He was also the god of commerce.
Approximately long does one day on Mercury take in Earth days?
- Because Mercury rotates so slowly, one full day on the planet lasts nearly 59 full Earth days.
How many spacecraft have been launched to successfully study Mercury?
- Only two space probes have been sent out to Mercury due to its very fast speed and gravitational issues because of its proximity to the Sun, the Mariner 10, and the MESSENGER.
How many moons does Mercury have?
- Mercury doesn't have enough gravity to keep a moon in orbit around itself, so it is only one of two planets in the Solar System without moons— Venus is the other.
What is the composition of Mercury?
- There are four terrestrial planets in our Solar System, with Mercury being one of them. It's made of rock and metals, primarily iron.
How many craters are scattered across the surface of Mercury?
- NASA has spotted and cataloged 763 craters on the planet and has named 397 of them.