In our Solar System, the planet closest to our Sun is Mercury. Being the closest planet, it revolves around the Sun way faster than any other planet in our entire Solar System. But we believe that it’s a very common piece of information and most of us are aware of this. So, let us today embark on an incredible journey to learn 30 interesting facts about Mercury.
Interesting Facts About Mercury: 1-10
1. The name Mercury was actually given by the Romans. They actually named the planet after their messenger God who was considered to be very swift-footed.
2. This planet has been known to humans for at least 5,000 years. Sumerians associated the planet with their god of writing called Nabu.
3. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher before the time of Socrates, strongly believed that Mercury as well as Venus revolved not around the Earth but around Sun.
4. Mercury is the closest planet to Sun and hence, its surface temperature during day can reach 450 degrees Celsius or 840 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Unlike Earth, Mercury has no atmosphere and hence, it is not capable of trapping any heat from Sun. This is exactly the reason why temperature of Mercury can fall to minus 170 degrees Celsius or minus 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. The temperature swing of Mercury is the highest in entire Solar System. In a single day, the temperature of Mercury can swing more than 600 degrees Celsius or 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Though the temperature on Mercury can reach up to 840°F during the day, this planet is still believed to have water ice on it. Radar observations in year 1991 revealed that the South and the North Pole of the planet may have ice deep inside the craters because those areas always remain in shadow and are always cold.
8. There are two distinct possibilities for ice to exist in those places. Some astronomers say that the ice reached the planet through asteroids that crashed on it. Others believe that gas trapped at the planet’s interior somehow escaped but got frozen near the poles.
9. Because Mercury has no atmosphere, asteroids approaching the planet hit it without any restriction forming big craters. One such crater is known as Caloris Basin that was created some 4 billion years ago by an asteroid impact. The asteroid is believed to have been around 100 kilometers or 60 miles wide and is thought to have hit Mercury with a force equal to that generated by 1 trillion bombs of 1 megaton each.
10. The Caloris Basin is roughly 1,550 kilometers or 960 miles wide and is capable of accommodating the entire Texas state.