Mercury is the planet nearest to the Sun. Its distance from the Sun is only 0,39 times the Earths distance to the Sun. Driving a car at 130 km/h it would take approx. 51 years to drive from the Sun to Mercury.
Spacecraft Mariner 10 mapped about 45% of the surface of Mercury. Later Messenger mapped additionally 30%. Mercury’s surface looks much like our Moon with craters and plains.
Mercury rotates three times around its axis for every two orbits around the Sun. This means that one day on Mercury lasts 59 Earth days, while a Mercury year is only 88 Earth days
The volume of Mercury’s core makes up 42% of its total volume. In comparison, the Earth’s core fills only about 17% of its total volume. The core is believed to be liquid and contain a lot of iron.
Mercury’s diameter is only 0.4 times the Earth. This compares like a tennis ball and a soccer ball.
The Danish name for Mercury; ”Merkur ” originates from the Roman culture, where Mercury was a Roman deity.
The lack of atmosphere means that there is a great difference in temperature between the equator and the poles. This difference spans from -173 °C to +427 °C.
The first spacecraft to fly past Mercury was the American Mariner 10 in 1975. The next was Messenger; witch went into orbit around Mercury in 2011.