Focus on Mercury – By Elizabeth Rose PIN 7430
Mercury is the ruling planet for Gemini.
It is named by the Roman deity Mercury which means the messenger of the gods.
It is the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System.
It takes 87.97 days to orbit around the sun which is the shortest of all the planets in the Solar System.
If you were weighed on Mercury you would weigh 38% of your weight on the earth.
Mercury has no rings or moons maybe this is because it is so close to the sun.
The orbital speed of Mercury is 29 miles and 7 seconds.
176 days on earth is only one day on Mercury.
Mercury has no atmosphere.
It is covered in craters and been dormant for millions of years.
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and so circulates the sun faster than other planets.
It is estimated that Mercury is 48 million miles from Earth.
The diameter is 3031 miles.
A spacecraft was first sent to Mercury in 1974.
Mercury is 70% metallic and 30% silicate and is known as a terrestrial planet.
Galileo first observed the planet in the 17th century.
It cannot be seen through some telescopes as the sun is too close and would damage the telescope.
Mercury is the second densest planet after the earth.
The temperature on the surface of Mercury ranges from 173c to 472c
Mercury was hit by an asteroid which was estimated to be 60 miles wide this created a huge crater which is roughly estimated to be 960 miles wide.
This crater is called the Caloris Basin.
Ice craters were discovered in the North Pole furthest from the sun.
Mercury is within the Earth’s orbit but can only be seen early in the morning or late in the evening.
According to astrology Mercury is associated with intelligence and communication.