Mercury By Aoife Mc Govern
Mercury Mercury is the closet planet to the sun in the solar system.This rocky dry planet has almost no atmosphere. Mercury has a very elliptical orbit and a huge range in temperature.
Mercury At midday it is hotter than an oven – about 350 degrees celsius. But at night it is freezing cold, because the planet has no atmosphere to keep the heat in. The USA mariner 10 spacecraft sent back pictures of Mercury in 1974-75.
Its craters were formed when the young planet was bombarded by space rockets and its plains were formed when lava flooded the surface. Only one space probe Mariner 10 has visited Mercury so far. It flew by the planet three times in 1974-75. Astronomers are now set to return. The United States Messenger probe flew by in 2008 and in 2009 and a European probe called Bept Colombo will be launched in 2012
*Mercury facts* • 58 million km from the sun. • 4880 km in diameter • No moons • No atmosphere • One day lasts 176 earth days • Mercury is the innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System, orbiting the Sun once every 87.969 Earth days.
What I have learned about Mercury! • Mercury is named after the messenger god of Jupiter. • Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system. • The gravity on Mercury is 38% of gravity on Earth. • Mercury is a dry planet because it’s nearest to the sun. and it’s core is made of liquid iron. • If someone lived on Mercury they would probably freeze to death or die of starvation.