Size and Mass Mercury is 4,879 km around the equator. Mercury’s mass is 3.30× kg. That’s 5.5% the mass of Earth! Mercury’s volume is 6.083× That’s 5.4% the volume of Earth! Mercury’s surface area is 7.48× Mercury is 38.3% the size of Earth. It is the smallest planet and even some moons are bigger than it!
Distance from the Sun Mercury is usually about 58 million km away from the sun!
Rotation and Orbit Mercury completes one rotation every 58 days and 15.5 hours. It completes one orbit every 88 days.
Atmosphere Mercury has a very thin atmosphere composed of: Hydrogen Helium Oxygen Sodium Calcium Potassium Water Vapor
Composition of the Planet • Mercury is made up of 70% metal. • The core makes up 42% of the planet’s volume.
Most of the surface features on Mercury are impact craters. One VERY noticeable feature is this large stripe.
Who Discovered Mercury? Mercury was first officially mapped as a planet in a model of the solar system made by Copernicus, which was proven by Galileo.
FUNFACTS! • Until 2008, half of Mercury had never been seen. • Mercury has a faint magnetic field. • There may be ice on Mercury. • It is possible to view Mercury without viewing devices. • Mercury was discovered thousands of years before Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. • Mercury as mentioned before, does have an atmosphere. • Now that Pluto is no longer a planet, Mercury has the most “eccentric” orbit, with an ellipse that makes the closet point to the Sun 46 million km away and as far as 70 million km away at it’s farthest point. • Mercury’s orbit helped prove Einstein’s theory of relativity. • Mercury will never be able to be observed by Hubble. • We are sending spacecraft to Mercury right now.
That’s a WrapWe don’t know everything about Mercury, but we are sending ships to Mercury right now.