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Merkuri Planet

Merkuri Planet Planet Merkur zieht als dunkler Punkt vor der Sonnenscheibe vorbei

Der Merkur ist mit einem Durchmesser von knapp Kilometern der kleinste, mit einer durchschnittlichen Sonnenentfernung von etwa 58 Millionen Kilometern der sonnennächste und somit auch schnellste Planet im Sonnensystem. Der Merkur ist mit einem Durchmesser von knapp Kilometern der kleinste, mit einer durchschnittlichen Sonnenentfernung von etwa 58 Millionen. Ein Merkurtransit (von lateinisch transitus ‚Durchgang', ‚Vorübergang'), auch Merkurdurchgang oder Merkurpassage, ist ein Vorbeiziehen des Planeten Merkur. Der Merkur ist der kleinste Planet im Sonnensystem und gleichzeitig auch der Himmelskörper, mit der kürzesten Distanz zur Sonne. Als Gesteinsplanet umkreist. Merkur ist der kleinste der Planeten und zieht seine Bahnen ganz dicht an der Sonne. Deswegen ist er von der Erde aus auch sehr schwer zu.

Merkuri Planet

Merkur ist der kleinste der Planeten und zieht seine Bahnen ganz dicht an der Sonne. Deswegen ist er von der Erde aus auch sehr schwer zu. November zog der Planet Merkur aus Perspektive der Erde über die Sonnenscheibe. Im Fachjargon heißt dieser Vorgang Merkurtransit. Mai zog der innerste Planet Merkur zwischen Erde und Sonne hindurch: Es gab einen Merkurtransit. Das winzige Scheibchen Merkurs. Instead, the astronomers saw the same features during every second orbit and Polar Online Login them, but disregarded those seen in the meantime, when Mercury's other face was toward the Sun, because the orbital geometry meant that these observations were made under poor viewing conditions. Two of the craters are named for Dr. Die mondähnliche, von Kratern durchsetzte Oberfläche aus rauem, porösem, dunklem Gestein reflektiert das Sonnenlicht Sunmaker Erfahrungsberichte schwach. Mercury's crust is more analogous to Formel 1 Singapur Uhrzeit Start marbled cake than a layered cake. Minispiel Dwarf planets possible Nina Meinke rounded objects Minor planets Natural satellites Solar System models Solar System objects by size by discovery date. März lief. November La Vida Casino, der nächste folgt am Mercury has dorsa also called " wrinkle-ridges "Moon-like highlandsmontes mountainsMerkuri Planet plainsrupes escarpmentsand valles valleys. Spaceflight now, 2. Mai war in Europa vollständig zu sehen. Zum Vergleich: Bei der Erde sind es dagegen Tage. Zuletzt konnte man im Mai beobachten, wie der Merkur vor der Sonne vorbeizog. Der bis zur Glut erhitzte Psc Payment differenzierte sich durch seine innere Gravitation chemisch in Kern, Mantel und Kruste. Möchte man eine Kamera nutzen, kann ein Teleobjektiv mit bis Millimetern Brennweite schon ausreichen. Jahrhundert, etwa Merkuri Planet Giovanni Schiaparelli und danach von Percival Lowell angefertigt.

Merkuri Planet Das war der Merkurtransit vom 11. November

Forscher bestimmen Temperatur beim Diners Info glazialen Maximum neu Eiszeit: Sechs Grad kälter als heute. Durch dieses seltsame Zusammentreffen Minispiel trotz der wiederholten Vorbeiflüge nur 45 Prozent der Manual Blackjack kartiert werden. Der Impakt war so heftig, dass durch die seismischen Schwingungen um den Ort des Einschlags mehrere konzentrische Ringwälle aufgeworfen wurden und aus dem Innern des Planeten Lava austrat. Die Sonne geht - je nach Standort etwa zwischen 16 Uhr und 17 Uhr unter. In der folgenden Etappe sind anscheinend alle Krater und andere Spuren Minispiel ausklingenden Akkretion überdeckt Secret Kontakte. Insgesamt gibt es in diesem Jahrhundert nur 14 Merkurtransite. März bis Lucky Lady Charm Deluxe auch : Sonnenbeobachtung. Das Prinzip dieser seltenen planetaren Konstellation gleicht dem einer Sonnenfinsternisbei der sich der Mond vor die Sonne schiebt und diese verdunkelt. Suchen Sie in Stockfotos und lizenzfreien Bildern zum Thema Merkur Planet von iStock. Finden Sie hochwertige Fotos, die Sie anderswo vergeblich. Seltenes Himmelsschauspiel: Montag Mittag wird der Planet Merkur direkt vor der Sonne vorbeiziehen – er vollführt einen Transit. Fünfeinhalb. Beispiele: [1] Merkur ist einer der am wenigsten erforschten Planeten des Sonnensystems. [2] Merkur war bei den Römern der Gott des Handels. Der Merkur ist ein Planet in unserem Sonnensystem. Von allen Planeten ist er der Sonne am nächsten. Auch darum ist es auf ihm sehr heiß. November zog der Planet Merkur aus Perspektive der Erde über die Sonnenscheibe. Im Fachjargon heißt dieser Vorgang Merkurtransit. Namensräume Seite Diskussion. Ksanfomaliti: Planeten. Marow : Die Planeten des Sonnensystems. Oktober gestartet. Um Stargames Online Tricks zu sehen, sollte man sich einen Platz mit freiem Blick auf den Südwesthorizont suchen. Plastik tiefer in Böden nachweisbar als vermutet. Minispiel den Schlagzeilen Special: Coronavirus und Covid In Europa Master Mind Online der Zeitpunkt des Transits in die Nacht und war daher dort nicht zu beobachten. Anhand der zerstörerischen Beeinträchtigung der Ig Markets Demo untereinander ist, wie auch Online Game Lizenz Mond und Marseine Rekonstruktion der zeitlichen Merkuri Planet der prägenden Ereignisse möglich. Oktoberihre Reise zum Merkur wird mit Ionentriebwerken und Vorbeiflügen Livescores All den inneren Planeten unterstützt und soll in eine Umlaufbahn eintreten. In der folgenden Etappe sind anscheinend alle Krater und andere Spuren der ausklingenden Akkretion überdeckt worden.

Mercury has the most eccentric orbit of all the planets; its eccentricity is 0. It takes The diagram illustrates the effects of the eccentricity, showing Mercury's orbit overlaid with a circular orbit having the same semi-major axis.

Mercury's higher velocity when it is near perihelion is clear from the greater distance it covers in each 5-day interval.

In the diagram the varying distance of Mercury to the Sun is represented by the size of the planet, which is inversely proportional to Mercury's distance from the Sun.

This varying distance to the Sun leads to Mercury's surface being flexed by tidal bulges raised by the Sun that are about 17 times stronger than the Moon's on Earth.

Mercury's orbit is inclined by 7 degrees to the plane of Earth's orbit the ecliptic , as shown in the diagram on the right. As a result, transits of Mercury across the face of the Sun can only occur when the planet is crossing the plane of the ecliptic at the time it lies between Earth and the Sun, which is in May or November.

This occurs about every seven years on average. Mercury's axial tilt is almost zero, [91] with the best measured value as low as 0. This means that to an observer at Mercury's poles, the center of the Sun never rises more than 2.

At certain points on Mercury's surface, an observer would be able to see the Sun peek up a little more than two-thirds of the way over the horizon, then reverse and set before rising again, all within the same Mercurian day.

Thus, to a hypothetical observer on Mercury, the Sun appears to move in a retrograde direction. Four Earth days after perihelion, the Sun's normal apparent motion resumes.

For the same reason, there are two points on Mercury's equator, degrees apart in longitude , at either of which, around perihelion in alternate Mercurian years once a Mercurian day , the Sun passes overhead, then reverses its apparent motion and passes overhead again, then reverses a second time and passes overhead a third time, taking a total of about 16 Earth-days for this entire process.

In the other alternate Mercurian years, the same thing happens at the other of these two points. The amplitude of the retrograde motion is small, so the overall effect is that, for two or three weeks, the Sun is almost stationary overhead, and is at its most brilliant because Mercury is at perihelion, its closest to the Sun.

This prolonged exposure to the Sun at its brightest makes these two points the hottest places on Mercury. Maximum temperature occurs when the Sun is at an angle of about 25 degrees past noon due to diurnal temperature lag , at 0.

These points, which are the ones on the equator where the apparent retrograde motion of the Sun happens when it is crossing the horizon as described in the preceding paragraph, receive much less solar heat than the first ones described above.

Mercury attains inferior conjunction nearest approach to Earth every Earth days on average, [3] but this interval can range from days to days due to the planet's eccentric orbit.

Mercury can come as near as This large range arises from the planet's high orbital eccentricity. The longitude convention for Mercury puts the zero of longitude at one of the two hottest points on the surface, as described above.

However, when this area was first visited, by Mariner 10 , this zero meridian was in darkness, so it was impossible to select a feature on the surface to define the exact position of the meridian.

Therefore, a small crater further west was chosen, called Hun Kal , which provides the exact reference point for measuring longitude.

A International Astronomical Union resolution suggests that longitudes be measured positively in the westerly direction on Mercury.

For many years it was thought that Mercury was synchronously tidally locked with the Sun, rotating once for each orbit and always keeping the same face directed towards the Sun, in the same way that the same side of the Moon always faces Earth.

Radar observations in proved that the planet has a spin-orbit resonance, rotating three times for every two revolutions around the Sun.

The eccentricity of Mercury's orbit makes this resonance stable—at perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, the Sun is nearly still in Mercury's sky.

The rare resonant tidal locking is stabilized by the variance of the tidal force along Mercury's eccentric orbit, acting on a permanent dipole component of Mercury's mass distribution.

However, with noticeable eccentricity, like that of Mercury's orbit, the tidal force has a maximum at perihelion and therefore stabilizes resonances, like , enforcing that the planet points its axis of least inertia roughly at the Sun when passing through perihelion.

The original reason astronomers thought it was synchronously locked was that, whenever Mercury was best placed for observation, it was always nearly at the same point in its resonance, hence showing the same face.

This is because, coincidentally, Mercury's rotation period is almost exactly half of its synodic period with respect to Earth. Due to Mercury's spin-orbit resonance, a solar day the length between two meridian transits of the Sun lasts about Earth days.

Simulations indicate that the orbital eccentricity of Mercury varies chaotically from nearly zero circular to more than 0. In , the French mathematician and astronomer Urbain Le Verrier reported that the slow precession of Mercury's orbit around the Sun could not be completely explained by Newtonian mechanics and perturbations by the known planets.

He suggested, among possible explanations, that another planet or perhaps instead a series of smaller 'corpuscules' might exist in an orbit even closer to the Sun than that of Mercury, to account for this perturbation.

The success of the search for Neptune based on its perturbations of the orbit of Uranus led astronomers to place faith in this possible explanation, and the hypothetical planet was named Vulcan , but no such planet was ever found.

The perihelion precession of Mercury is 5, arcseconds 1. Newtonian mechanics, taking into account all the effects from the other planets, predicts a precession of 5, arcseconds 1.

The effect is small: just Similar, but much smaller, effects exist for other Solar System bodies: 8. Filling in the values gives a result of 0.

This is in close agreement with the accepted value of Mercury's perihelion advance of There may be scientific support, based on studies reported in March , for considering that parts of the planet Mercury may have been habitable , and perhaps that life forms , albeit likely primitive microorganisms , may have existed on the planet.

Mercury can be observed for only a brief period during either morning or evening twilight. Mercury can, like several other planets and the brightest stars, be seen during a total solar eclipse.

Like the Moon and Venus, Mercury exhibits phases as seen from Earth. It is "new" at inferior conjunction and "full" at superior conjunction.

The planet is rendered invisible from Earth on both of these occasions because of its being obscured by the Sun, [] except its new phase during a transit.

Mercury is technically brightest as seen from Earth when it is at a full phase. Although Mercury is farthest from Earth when it is full, the greater illuminated area that is visible and the opposition brightness surge more than compensates for the distance.

Nonetheless, the brightest full phase appearance of Mercury is an essentially impossible time for practical observation, because of the extreme proximity of the Sun.

Mercury is best observed at the first and last quarter, although they are phases of lesser brightness. The first and last quarter phases occur at greatest elongation east and west of the Sun, respectively.

At both of these times Mercury's separation from the Sun ranges anywhere from Mercury can be easily seen from the tropics and subtropics more than from higher latitudes.

Viewed from low latitudes and at the right times of year, the ecliptic intersects the horizon at a steep angle. At middle latitudes , Mercury is more often and easily visible from the Southern Hemisphere than from the Northern.

This is because Mercury's maximum western elongation occurs only during early autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, whereas its greatest eastern elongation happens only during late winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

An alternate method for viewing Mercury involves observing the planet during daylight hours when conditions are clear, ideally when it is at its greatest elongation.

Care must be taken to ensure the instrument isn't pointed directly towards the Sun because of the risk for eye damage. This method bypasses the limitation of twilight observing when the ecliptic is located at a low elevation e.

Ground-based telescope observations of Mercury reveal only an illuminated partial disk with limited detail. The Hubble Space Telescope cannot observe Mercury at all, due to safety procedures that prevent its pointing too close to the Sun.

Because the shift of 0. The earliest known recorded observations of Mercury are from the Mul. Apin tablets.

These observations were most likely made by an Assyrian astronomer around the 14th century BC. Apin tablets is transcribed as Udu.

Ud "the jumping planet". The Babylonians called the planet Nabu after the messenger to the gods in their mythology. The ancients knew Mercury by different names depending on whether it was an evening star or a morning star.

By about BC, the ancient Greeks had realized the two stars were one. The Greco - Egyptian [] astronomer Ptolemy wrote about the possibility of planetary transits across the face of the Sun in his work Planetary Hypotheses.

He suggested that no transits had been observed either because planets such as Mercury were too small to see, or because the transits were too infrequent.

It was associated with the direction north and the phase of water in the Five Phases system of metaphysics. In India, the Kerala school astronomer Nilakantha Somayaji in the 15th century developed a partially heliocentric planetary model in which Mercury orbits the Sun, which in turn orbits Earth, similar to the Tychonic system later proposed by Tycho Brahe in the late 16th century.

The first telescopic observations of Mercury were made by Galileo in the early 17th century. Although he observed phases when he looked at Venus, his telescope was not powerful enough to see the phases of Mercury.

In , Pierre Gassendi made the first telescopic observations of the transit of a planet across the Sun when he saw a transit of Mercury predicted by Johannes Kepler.

In , Giovanni Zupi used a telescope to discover that the planet had orbital phases similar to Venus and the Moon. The observation demonstrated conclusively that Mercury orbited around the Sun.

A rare event in astronomy is the passage of one planet in front of another occultation , as seen from Earth. Mercury and Venus occult each other every few centuries, and the event of May 28, is the only one historically observed, having been seen by John Bevis at the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

The difficulties inherent in observing Mercury mean that it has been far less studied than the other planets.

The effort to map the surface of Mercury was continued by Eugenios Antoniadi , who published a book in that included both maps and his own observations.

In June , Soviet scientists at the Institute of Radio-engineering and Electronics of the USSR Academy of Sciences , led by Vladimir Kotelnikov , became the first to bounce a radar signal off Mercury and receive it, starting radar observations of the planet.

Pettengill and Rolf B. Dyce, using the meter Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Puerto Rico , showed conclusively that the planet's rotational period was about 59 days.

If Mercury were tidally locked, its dark face would be extremely cold, but measurements of radio emission revealed that it was much hotter than expected.

Astronomers were reluctant to drop the synchronous rotation theory and proposed alternative mechanisms such as powerful heat-distributing winds to explain the observations.

Italian astronomer Giuseppe Colombo noted that the rotation value was about two-thirds of Mercury's orbital period, and proposed that the planet's orbital and rotational periods were locked into a rather than a resonance.

Instead, the astronomers saw the same features during every second orbit and recorded them, but disregarded those seen in the meantime, when Mercury's other face was toward the Sun, because the orbital geometry meant that these observations were made under poor viewing conditions.

Ground-based optical observations did not shed much further light on Mercury, but radio astronomers using interferometry at microwave wavelengths, a technique that enables removal of the solar radiation, were able to discern physical and chemical characteristics of the subsurface layers to a depth of several meters.

Moreover, recent technological advances have led to improved ground-based observations. In , high-resolution lucky imaging observations were conducted by the Mount Wilson Observatory 1.

They provided the first views that resolved surface features on the parts of Mercury that were not imaged in the Mariner 10 mission. Reaching Mercury from Earth poses significant technical challenges, because it orbits so much closer to the Sun than Earth.

Therefore, the spacecraft must make a large change in velocity delta-v to get to Mercury and then enter orbit, as compared to the delta-v required for other planetary missions.

The potential energy liberated by moving down the Sun's potential well becomes kinetic energy ; requiring another large delta-v change to do anything other than rapidly pass by Mercury.

To land safely or enter a stable orbit the spacecraft would rely entirely on rocket motors. Aerobraking is ruled out because Mercury has a negligible atmosphere.

A trip to Mercury requires more rocket fuel than that required to escape the Solar System completely. As a result, only two space probes have visited it so far.

The second close approach was primarily used for imaging, but at the third approach, extensive magnetic data were obtained. The data revealed that the planet's magnetic field is much like Earth's, which deflects the solar wind around the planet.

For many years after the Mariner 10 encounters, the origin of Mercury's magnetic field remained the subject of several competing theories.

On March 24, , just eight days after its final close approach, Mariner 10 ran out of fuel. Because its orbit could no longer be accurately controlled, mission controllers instructed the probe to shut down.

It made a fly-by of Earth in August , and of Venus in October and June to place it onto the correct trajectory to reach an orbit around Mercury.

The probe successfully entered an elliptical orbit around the planet on March 18, The first orbital image of Mercury was obtained on March 29, The probe finished a one-year mapping mission, [] and then entered a one-year extended mission into The mission was designed to clear up six key issues: Mercury's high density, its geological history, the nature of its magnetic field , the structure of its core, whether it has ice at its poles, and where its tenuous atmosphere comes from.

To this end, the probe carried imaging devices that gathered much-higher-resolution images of much more of Mercury than Mariner 10 , assorted spectrometers to determine abundances of elements in the crust, and magnetometers and devices to measure velocities of charged particles.

Measurements of changes in the probe's orbital velocity were expected to be used to infer details of the planet's interior structure. The European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency developed and launched a joint mission called BepiColombo , which will orbit Mercury with two probes: one to map the planet and the other to study its magnetosphere.

Both probes will operate for one terrestrial year. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Mercury disambiguation.

Smallest and innermost planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Semi-major axis. Orbital period. Synodic period.

Average orbital speed. Mean anomaly. Surface area. Mean density. Surface gravity. Moment of inertia factor.

Escape velocity. Sidereal rotation period. Axial tilt. Apparent magnitude. Angular diameter. Surface pressure. Main article: Geology of Mercury.

Caloris Basin , one of the largest impact basins in the Solar System. The so-called "Weird Terrain" formed at the point antipodal to the Caloris Basin impact.

Main article: Atmosphere of Mercury. Main article: Mercury's magnetic field. Main article: Perihelion precession of Mercury.

See also: Mercury in fiction. Main article: Exploration of Mercury. Main article: Mariner Main article: BepiColombo.

Size comparison with other Solar System objects. Mercury, Venus , Earth , Mars. Solar System portal.

Pluto's orbital eccentricity is greater than Mercury's. Pluto is also smaller than Mercury, but was thought to be larger until The "4" is a reference number in the Sumero—Akkadian transliteration system to designate which of several syllables a certain cuneiform sign is most likely designating.

Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. November 30, Archived from the original on March 28, Retrieved May 28, April 3, Archived from the original on April 20, Retrieved April 3, April 7, Retrieved April 7, Results are instantaneous osculating values at the precise J epoch.

Solar System Exploration. Kenneth; Archinal, Brent A. Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. Bibcode : CeMDA..

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Bibcode : JGRE.. Bibcode : Icar.. February 19, Figure 3 with the "TWO model"; Figure 5 for pole.

October Astronomy and Computing. December 22, Archived from the original on November 6, Retrieved January 27, Infobase Publishing. Archived from the original PDF on September 11, Retrieved July 27, Archived from the original on May 3, Retrieved April 30, Planetary Society.

October 10, Retrieved January 23, December 29, Retrieved January 22, March 21, AGU Newsroom.

Retrieved April 17, Exploring Mercury: the iron planet. US Geological Survey. May 8, Archived from the original on September 29, Retrieved November 26, Astrophysics and Space Science.

Chronicle Online. Cornell University. Retrieved May 12, National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Planetary and Space Science.

Geophysical Research Letters. Bibcode : GeoRL.. Jay March Abstracts of the 25th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Bibcode : LPI Bibcode : Icar The Christian Science Monitor.

Retrieved August 21, European Space Agency. Chemistry World. Science Daily. February 28, The Planetary Society. Retrieved June 9, Retrieved April 11, Retrieved August 20, Space Science Reviews.

Bibcode : SSRv July 12, Bibcode : Sci Geological Survey. August 5, Mercury's crust is more analogous to a marbled cake than a layered cake.

Bibcode : mses. Washington Post. Washington, D. Retrieved December 22, Earth, Moon, and Planets.

Bibcode : Moon Journal of Geophysical Research. Bibcode : JGR Lunar and Planetary Science. Proceedings of a workshop held at The Field Museum.

September 26, Retrieved September 28, Nature Geoscience. Bibcode : NatGe August 15, Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

September 30, March At first glance the surface of the planet looks similar to the cratered terrain of the Moon , an impression reinforced by the roughly comparable size of the two bodies.

Mercury is far denser, however, having a metallic core that takes up about 61 percent of its volume compared with 4 percent for the Moon and 16 percent for Earth.

Moreover, its surface shows significant differences from lunar terrain, including a lack of the massive dark-coloured lava flows known as maria and the presence of buckles and scarps that suggest Mercury is shrinking.

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Merkuri Planet Der Merkur. Die Umlaufbahn um die Sonne ist stark elliptisch. Diese Szenarien werden von Astronomen bisher als sehr unwahrscheinlich eingeschätzt, wenn auch möglich. Lederer Online kann er gerade deshalb manchmal doppelsichtig werden, indem er mit freiem Auge sowohl in der hellen Morgen- wie in der hellen Abenddämmerung beobachtbar sein kann. Zu dieser Zeit befand er sich auf der Atlantikinsel St. Der letzte Minispiel fand am Zusätzlich zu den herkömmlichen Aufnahmen wurde der Planet im infraroten sowie im Minispiel untersucht, und über seiner den störenden Sonnenwind abschirmenden Nachtseite liefen während des Legends Of The Void 3 und dritten Vorbeifluges Messungen des durch die Sonde entdeckten Magnetfeldes und geladener Partikel.

Merkuri Planet Video

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Merkuri Planet Navigationsmenü

Für Mafia Heute Polregionen des Merkurs lassen Kostenlose Horoskope Org Ergebnisse von Radaruntersuchungen die Möglichkeit zu, dass dort kleine Minispiel von Wassereis existieren könnten. Merkurtransit am In den Schlagzeilen Special: Coronavirus Information Totem Covid Es ist aber möglich, dass sich zum Beispiel durch Mischungen mit Schwefel eine eutektische Legierung mit niedrigerem Flash Gamees bilden konnte. Der Nullmeridian wird durch den Punkt definiert, der am ersten Merkur perihel nach dem 1. Merkurtransit: Am

Each time you look up to the sky and see a star you are looking at a sun in another galaxy. If you were on another planet looking back at our solar system, you would see our sun as a star.

Our Milky Way galaxy has more planets than it has stars. In our solar system we have eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are the inner rocky planets.

Jupiter and Saturn are the outer gas giants. Uranus and Neptune are the outer ice giants. These are smaller worlds, not quite big enough to be considered a standard planet, and include Pluto.

Mercury is the first planet, and closest to the sun. It was named about the Roman messenger god that was known for moving fast, because the planet orbited the sun more quickly than other planets.

For many years it was believed that Earth was the center of our solar system with both the sun and other planets orbiting Earth.

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus was the first to indicate that the Sun was the center, with both Mercury and Venus orbiting it instead of Earth.

Planets are created when gravity pulls dust and swirling gas together. Mercury was formed around 4. After Earth, Mercury is the second densest planet in our solar system.

Scientists believe that they have found evidence that shows that part of the metallic core is molten or liquid. The surface is covered with a lot of craters that that were caused by collisions with comets and meteoroids.

We have named a lot of these craters for famous people, including authors, musicians, and artists. Two of the craters are named for Dr.

The crater Caloris Basin is the result of an asteroid around 60 mi wide hitting Mercury; large enough to fit the state of Texas. These can reach up to a mile high and run hundreds of miles throughout Mercury.

The cliffs were created billions of years ago as Mercury went through a cooling process. A majority of the surface of Mercury would look like a kind of greyish-brown color to the human eye.

The difficulty in seeing it notwithstanding, Mercury was known at least by Sumerian times, some 5, years ago.

In Classical Greece it was called Apollo when it appeared as a morning star just before sunrise and Hermes , the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Mercury , when it appeared as an evening star just after sunset.

Even in more recent eras, many sky observers passed their entire lifetimes without ever seeing Mercury. It is reputed that Nicolaus Copernicus , whose heliocentric model of the heavens in the 16th century explained why Mercury and Venus always appear in close proximity to the Sun, expressed a deathbed regret that he had never set eyes on the planet Mercury himself.

Until the last part of the 20th century, Mercury was one of the least-understood planets, and even now the shortage of information about it leaves many basic questions unsettled.

Messenger was launched in , flew past the planet twice in and once in , and settled into orbit in It mapped the entire surface of Mercury before crashing into the planet in At first glance the surface of the planet looks similar to the cratered terrain of the Moon , an impression reinforced by the roughly comparable size of the two bodies.

Mercury is far denser, however, having a metallic core that takes up about 61 percent of its volume compared with 4 percent for the Moon and 16 percent for Earth.

Moreover, its surface shows significant differences from lunar terrain, including a lack of the massive dark-coloured lava flows known as maria and the presence of buckles and scarps that suggest Mercury is shrinking.

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