What is... MERCURY?

Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system, but it is still an entire planet. Interested in learning about actual small things? Check this page out.

Fun Fact #1

Although we have studied Mercury quite a bit, only two spacecrafts have ever visited this planet. Mercury is hard to visit becuase of its close proximity to the Sun. In 1974, craft Mariner-10 flew by Mercury three times to map abut half of the planet's surface and landed once. The second and last craft visit was on August 3rd, 2004, a messenger probe was launced from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and landed on Mercury.

Fun Fact #2

Mercury is an extremely cratered planet. Here are some fast facts about why this is the case

  1. Most planets "self-heal" through incredible natural geological processes, but Mercury does not, leaving it with tons of craters you can see in this video to the left.
  2. These craters are caused by hundreds and thousands of encounters with asteroids and comets.
  3. Lots of Mercurian craters are namemd after famous artists and writers.

Fun Fact #3

Mercury has a molten core. Scientists from NASA have known that smaller planets' cores tend to cool rapidly, but more recently they discovered this core could be in fact made of molten. Molten would lower the melting temperature of the core, and the core makes up on 42% of its volume.

If you enjoyed this, find more information about planet Mercury Here!

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