Saturday, December 03, 2011

Solar System: Mercury

Mercury! The first planet in our solar system. Researching pictures for Mercury had me suspicious for a while since they all appeared to be black and white. Then I discovered that's because it's just a big rock! Let's learn more...
  • Mercury's day lasts for a Mercury year and a half. Alaska's got nothing on these long days.
  • Mercury has no atmosphere because it all got boiled away from being so close to the Sun.
  • One side of Mercury is 430 C, and the other is -180 C. The slow rotation keeps the hot side hot, and the cold side cold. This makes for the most extreme temperature variations of any planet in our solar system.
  • If it wasn't for the gravitational compression that the Earth exerts on itself, Mercury would be the densest planet in our solar system.
  • Mercury was first visited by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974.
The Nine Planets
Universe Today
National Geographic

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