As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after their swift-footed messenger god. The Sumerians also knew of Mercury since at least 5, years ago. It was often associated with Nabu, the god of writing. Mercury was also given separate names for its appearance as both a morning star and as an evening star.
For example, an unusual crater with radiating troughs has been discovered that scientists called "the spider". Mercury has dorsa also called " wrinkle-ridges "Moon-like highlandsmontes mountainsplanitiae plainsrupes escarpmentsand valles valleys.
Names coming from people are limited to the deceased. Craters are named for artists, musicians, painters, and authors who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field.
Ridges, or dorsa, are named for scientists who have contributed to the study of Mercury. Depressions or fossae are named for works of architecture. Montes are named for the word "hot" in a variety of languages.
Plains or planitiae are named for Mercury in various languages. Valleys or valles are named for radio telescope facilities.
Craters on Mercury range in diameter from small bowl-shaped cavities to multi-ringed impact basins hundreds of kilometers across.
They appear in all states of degradation, from relatively fresh rayed craters to highly degraded crater remnants. At the antipode of the Caloris Basin is a large region of unusual, hilly terrain known as the "Weird Terrain". The resulting high stresses fractured the surface.
Notably, they fill a wide ring surrounding the Caloris Basin. Unlike lunar maria, the smooth plains of Mercury have the same albedo as the older inter-crater plains.
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and the eighth largest. Mercury is slightly smaller in diameter than the moons Ganymede and Titan . Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system and is known for its short years, long days, extreme temperatures and weird sunsets. . Planet Distance, Brightness, and Size in the Sky See how far the planets are from the Sun or Earth, how bright they look, and their apparent size in the sky. Moon Phase Chart Moon phases visualized in real time, the past or the future.
Despite a lack of unequivocally volcanic characteristics, the localisation and rounded, lobate shape of these plains strongly support volcanic origins. It is not clear whether they are volcanic lavas induced by the impact, or a large sheet of impact melt.
Volcanology Picasso crater — the large arc-shaped pit located on the eastern side of its floor are postulated to have formed when subsurface magma subsided or drained, causing the surface to collapse into the resulting void. It is thus a " compound volcano ". Water vapor is present, released by a combination of processes such as: According to measurements taken by Mariner 10, it is about 1.
The spacecraft encountered magnetic "tornadoes" — twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting the planetary magnetic field to interplanetary space — that were up to km wide or a third of the radius of the planet.
Dates refer to 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.
This occurs about every seven years on average. Thus, to a hypothetical observer on Mercury, the Sun appears to move in a retrograde direction. 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. 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 can come as near as The next approach to within 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 Kalwhich 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.Mercury is the least explored "rocky" planet of our inner solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars).
However it appears that Mercury holds a lot of information about how all of the terrestrial planets have evolved since the beginning times of the solar system.
Like the other planets in the solar system, Mercury was born about billion years ago, condensing from the swirling ring of dust and gas left over from the sun’s formation. Planet Distance, Brightness, and Size in the Sky See how far the planets are from the Sun or Earth, how bright they look, and their apparent size in the sky.
Moon Phase Chart Moon phases visualized in real time, the past or the future. Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun.
It is not, however, very close, since it is 36 million miles, or 58 million kilometres away from the Sun! The distances of planets from each other and from the Sun are often measured in Astronomical Units, AU.
Mercury is a rocky planet, also known as a terrestrial planet. Mercury has a solid, cratered surface, much like the Earth's moon. Mercury is the smallest of the eight planets and is closest to the sun. Mercury is the smallest of the eight planets and is closest to the sun.