Interesting facts about planet Mercury

10 Interesting Facts About The Planet Mercury

Mercury has always fascinated the space enthusiasts. It is always a favorite planet to gaze through your portable telescopes. It gets its name as being the Roman messengers to gods. Mercury is the nearest planet to the sun but can only be seen during the twilight. This is because of its closeness to the sun. The mercury is a very fascinating planet and there are many interesting and unknown facts about this planet that people don’t know about. So let’s learn some fun and interesting facts about this closest planet to the earth.

1. Mercury is a planet with wrinkles:

The mercury is also known as the planet of wrinkles. These wrinkles also have a name and are known as Lobate scraps. The core of the planet is made of iron and when it cooled and contracts these wrinkles were formed. These Lobate scraps are hundreds of miles long and up to a mile in height.

wrinkles on Mercury’s surface

2. The mercury has no rings or moon:

Another fascinating fact about the planet’s mercury is that it does not have any moon or ring of itself. We are always been fascinated by Saturn’s ring and its interesting facts. Every other planet in the solar system with exception to mercury and Venus do not have any moon or rings associated with it.

Mercury has no Moons no Rings

3. The mercury has a crazy orbit:

Mercury is the fastest planet in the solar system to orbit around the sun. The speed of the mercury along its elliptical orbit is about 180, 000 km/hours or 112,000 miles per hour. It is very close to the sun and it only about 70 million kilometers from the sun. Which in space distance is very less. The mercury takes on earth days only 88 days to orbit the sun.

The crazy orbit of mercury

4. The Mercury has a massive iron core:

Another factor that makes a fascinating point about Mercury is its massive iron core. This is believed to be in a molten state. It takes about 75% of the radius of the whole planet. This makes it the planet which has the largest iron deposits than any other planet in the solar system. Though the scientists are still not sure about the formation of this core, the popular theory is that it has formed during its formation. As the planet was formed rapidly the large core was formed and relatedly thin-crust resulted.

The Iron Core of  Mercury
The Iron Core of Mercury

5. Although nearest yet Mercury is the second hottest planet:

Next in the facts about the planet Mercury is that it is the closest planet to the sun. By this logic, it should be the hottest planet but it is not.  Venus is the hottest planet of the solar system. The highest temperature at mercury can rise up to 427°c. The reason for this can be contributed to the fact that the mercury has absolutely no atmosphere that can regulate the temperature on this planet.

6. Two spacecraft have visited mercury till now:

To this date, only two spacecraft’s Mariner 10 and Messenger were two spacecraft that have been able to visit mercury. Mariner 10 visited mercury twice once in 1974 and then again in 1975. It flew by Mercury three times. They were able to map only the ½ of the planet. The Messenger probe was launched in 2004.

Space Mission to Mercury

7. It is the smallest planet in the solar system:

The mercury in addition to the closest planet in the solar system is also the smallest among the planets of the solar system. It is also one in five planets that we can see through our naked eyes without the help of any portable telescopes. The length across its equator is only 4879 Km. The earth’s length across the equator is 12742 Km.

Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system

8. Mercury has Tails:

Image Courtesy NASA

Yes as crazy does it sounds the planet Mercury has tails. These tails consist of particles that are thrown away from the planet’s surface. The scientist is still clueless about this phenomenon. But the general theory is that this is due to the sun’s wind and Mercury’s magnetosphere.

9. The magnetic field of Mercury is different at poles:

Mercury has a different magnetic field at its north and South Pole. The magnetic field generated at the interior of the planet is quite a week. In fact, it is only 1% of the total earth’s magnetic field. The south pole of the Mercury has a bigger magnetic pull because of the hole for charges particles of the Sun to reach the planet. These particles which are charged contribute to the composition of the mercury and its surface.

The magnetic field of Mercury is different at poles
Image Courtesy NASA

10. Mercury has the most extreme temperature fluctuations:

The last in the facts about planet Mercury is the most amazing thing about Mercury. It is that even when it is the closest planet to the sun, still, the surface can be really cold. It has the most extreme temperature fluctuations. At the day time it can reach up to 840 degrees Celsius and in the night this can be as low as minus 275 degrees Celsius. This temperature fluctuation is of more than 600 degrees Celsius, which is more than any planet in our solar system.

Mercury has the most extreme temperature fluctuations
Mercury has the most extreme temperature fluctuations