Mercury's look is similar to that of our own moon in many aspects. It is the second most dense planet in our solar system, weighing 330 trillion tons. Mercury has become the smallest planet in our solar system after Pluto was demoted to a minor planet. The mean radius of Mercury is 393 miles, which means it has an extremely thin atmosphere.
Its day is exactly 48 hours, but because it rotates around its axis in about 24 hours, this means that it completes one rotation on its axis every 87 days. Its year is therefore called an "equatorial year" because the same part of Mercury experiences both spring and fall. This is different from Earth's axial tilt, which causes us to experience seasons. Because of this equatorial location, there is no real variation in temperature throughout the year, just like there is no real variation in temperature on Mars or in the other planets in our solar system.
The average surface temperature of Mercury is 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But because of its small size, it receives direct sunlight only for a few hours each day, when the sun is directly over the center of the planet. The rest of the time, it is in darkness.
The amount of energy received by Mercury is just right to be able to support life as we know it.
Mercury is a small planet, about 4879 kilometers wide, and not much larger than our own Moon. With a density of 5.3 grams per cubic centimetre, it is the densest of the terrestrial planets (the others being Venus, Earth, Mercury, and Mars), yet it is also one of the most interesting. The reason for this paradox is that although Mercury is almost entirely made up of metal, its core may be empty or even have negative pressure.
The average density of mercury is 10,000 times that of water. This makes sense because mercury is a metal and thus should be as heavy as iron, which is 10 times more dense than water. However, because gold has a density of 19.32 grams per cubic centimetre while silver has a density of 8.96 grams per cubic centimetre, some people claim that mercury is actually made out of silver and gold layers deposited on top of each other.
This theory is not proven but it does make sense since no element on earth is more abundant in the universe. Gold is found in soil, rocks, and animals everywhere you look while oxygen is only found in air and water. Therefore, if someone were to mine all the gold in the world it would still not equal the amount of mercury that exists in the environment. Also, silver is found in rocks, soil, and animals too but it is also used in technology so it is not surprising that we sometimes find it in fossil fuels and electricity grid equipment.
Mercury, along with Venus, Earth, and Mars, is a rocky planet. It, like our Moon, has a solid surface covered with craters. It has no moons and has a scant atmosphere. Mercury prefers to keep things as simple as possible. There are two large regions: a tropical zone where water may be present in the form of lakes or seas, and a cold desert where nothing can live.
The landscape of Mercury is dominated by lava flows from ancient volcanoes. The largest volcano is Marius Hills, which reaches a height of 4,350 feet (1,362 meters). It is formed by an accumulation of lava that has been flowing down the side of the mountain for about 50 million years. This red-brown rock contains many small holes that once held liquid water. Today, however, most of the volcanic material is buried under hundreds of miles of ice.
Mining companies have explored parts of Mercury's crust looking for elements such as gold, silver, zinc, and platinum group metals. So far, none of these efforts have been successful because the resources are too low quality to be economically viable. However, some scientists believe that there might be valuable minerals hidden beneath the ice that could be extracted if we ever send humans to orbit Mercury again.
Mercury is a rocky planet with a massive iron core that makes up a significant portion of its interior. Nearly 3/4 of the planet's diameter is occupied by the core. The iron core of Mercury is roughly the size of the moon. Mercury is the most iron-rich planet in the Solar System, with iron accounting for almost 70% of its total weight. The remaining 30% is made up of silicon and other elements.
In terms of density, Mercury is the densest planet besides the Earth. It is also the closest planet to the Sun. These two factors combine to produce very high temperatures on Mercury, which range from 400 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit (204 to 371 degrees Celsius).
The presence of iron on Mercury's surface was discovered by American astronomer William Lewis Morgan using spectroscopy in 1848. He found that the rock he was studying broke down into simple components, which he called "metals." Today we know that these are all types of iron, but at the time this was a new discovery.
Prior to this discovery, scientists believed that the Earth was the only place in the Solar System where you could find metal ores. Now we know that there are other sources of iron available outside our planet, including Mars, Jupiter's largest planet, and Saturn's larger satellite, Titan.
Another interesting fact about Mercury is that it has the fastest rotation in the Solar System.
Scientists now know that Mercury is substantially larger than Pluto in terms of size. Mercury has a diameter of 4,879.4 km, whereas Pluto has a diameter of 2,360 km. As a result, Mercury is roughly twice the size of Pluto. In instance, Pluto is just 18% the diameter of the Earth, but Mercury is 38% the diameter of the Earth. This means that it would take Mercury about 69 days to orbit the Sun.
They are both planets, but they are very different from each other in many ways. Pluto is mostly rock and ice with a thin veneer of gas that gives it its distinctive shape. By contrast, Mercury is a dense ball of iron and nickel with a crust of silicate rocks.
Pluto was once thought to be the ninth planet, but now we know it's not even a moon but rather a large asteroid that just happens to orbit the Sun at the same distance as the planets. It took science until 2015 before being officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union that Pluto is not a planet anymore.
Even though they are both planets, scientists don't think that humans could live on either one of them. The environment on Pluto is too cold and there isn't much air to breathe, while Mercury has no water or oxygen. A person could possibly survive on Mercury for three months, but then again, nobody has ever done this before so we can't really say for sure what would happen.