|Planet Profile: |
Distance From Sun: 36,000,000miles
Diameter: 3,310 miles
Average Temperature Ranges: -315 F to 648 F
Average Day: approximately 59 earth Days
Average Year: approximately 88 earth Days
Number of Moons (Satellites): 0
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. Appropriately named for the wing-footed messenger of the Roman Gods. The days and nights are long on Mercury. It takes 59 Earth days to make a single rotation. The pictures show the huge mountains or stripes crisscrossing the planet. Mercury, like the Earth, appears to have a crust of light rock. Until the Mariner 10 Probe, little was known about the planet. Even the best telescopic views from Earth showed Mercury as an indistinct object lacking any surface detail.
The planet is so close to the Sun that it is usually lost in the Sun's glare. Radar images taken by astronomers at Jet Propulsion Laboratories and California Institute of Technology during the Summer of 1991 suggest that the polar regions of Mercury may be covered with patches of water-ice. Mercury can be seen with the naked-eye during the morning and evening twilight because of its alignment with Earth.
Did you know that Mercury whizzes around the Sun at 30 M.P.S.?