Marvelous Mercury

Written and Illustrated by Eve Polvay

The Orbit of Mercury

Did you know that Mercury has the shortest orbit out of all the planets? This is because it is the nearest planet to the sun. Its orbit takes about 88 Earth days. Mercury’s orbit is an ellipse so it doesn’t have the same distance from the sun all the time. An ellipse is oval shaped. The average distance is about 36 million miles from the sun. Also, to eyes on Earth, it comes up in the eastern sky and goes down in the western sky. Did you know what Mercury was named after? Mercury was named after a Roman god because the god was known for his speed and the planet Mercury has the fastest orbit.

Mercury’s Features

Though Mercury is the second smallest planet, it is the most dense. Even though Mercury is the second smallest planet, it weighs only a little less than Earth. A destiny is the measurement of how heavy something is. Mercury’s destiny is 5.4. Three spacecrafts have flown by, observing its features, but it wasn’t until 1965 that astronomers discovered that Mercury spins on its axis. Plus, Mercury’s core is made of iron. However, the outside of Mercury is very rocky. In fact, it is one of the rockiest planets.

What is the temperature on Mercury?

Is Mercury hot or cold? Unlike Earth, Mercury has no atmosphere. An atmosphere is like a blanket. It protects the planet from being too hot and too cold. Because of this, Mercury is either very hot or very cold. The temperature range is from 872 degrees Fahrenheit to -298 degrees Fahrenheit. Mercury has the greatest temperature range out of all the planets. So, Mercury is both hot and cold!

Looks Like the Moon

Mercury looks a lot like Earth’s moon. Just like Earth’s moon, Mercury is marked with craters. Most of the craters were formed by meteorites and comets crashing into it. The largest crater is Caloris Basin which is 800 miles wide! Though Mercury has a lot of craters it also has large, flat plains. The iron cored planet is a very interesting planet.

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