What Is The Mercury Planet? Complete Details


Mercury is the planet that is located closest to the sun. As such, it orbits the sun faster than all other planets, which is why the Romans named it after the god the swift messenger.


The Sumerians also knew the planet Mercury for at least 5,000 years and it was commonly associated with Nabu, the god of writing. The planet Mercury was also given different names due to its appearance as both a morning star and an evening star.

  • Distance to the sun:  57.91 million kilometers
  • Gravity:  3.7 m / s²
  • Duration of the day:  58 days 15 hours and 30 minutes
  • Orbital period:  115.88 days

What is Mercury?

Mercury is one of the planets in the solar system that is located in the closest position to the Sun and is also the smallest of all the 8 great planets that exist which is at a distance from the Sun of 58 million kilometers.


Mercury Characteristics:

  • It has a diameter of 4879.4 km.
  • Its mass is 3.3010 x 1023 kg.
  • The volume of the planet is 60,827,208,742 km 3 and its density : 5,427 g / cm 3 .
  • Its orbit is quite inclined and elliptical.
  • It is a planet that is visible from Earth without using telescopes.
  • Its surface is surrounded by craters and it is possible to find ice on it.
  • Its temperatures are extreme because the atmospheric layer it has is very thin, during the day it can reach temperatures of between 427 and 430 ° C, and at night, -173 ° C.
  • Life is unlikely to exist on this planet.


The planet was called by its name by the Romans because for them the planet was a messenger of the gods since it seemed to move faster than any other planet.

Historians also mention that its name comes from the Roman god with the same name, which also alluded to speed and agility. According to scientists, it was formed from a series of volcanic eruptions that deformed its crust and the planet’s surface, creating glowing rings around each crater.


Mercury is made up of approximately 70% metals and 30% silicate. In fact, it is only slightly less dense than Earth, has many heavy elements within it, and the core is considered to be large and made up of iron. Its atmosphere is made up of heliumsodiumoxygen, and nitrogen. Its magnetic field is 1% and its source is unknown.

The atmosphere of mercury:

Mercury’s atmosphere is extremely thin and is made up of atoms that have been detached from its surface by the solar wind, which consists of streams of particles that come from the outermost layer of the sun.

Sodium, potassium, and mercury have been detected in their atmosphere, but these elements can be lost when they react with the magnetic fields of the Sun and Mercury.

Magnetic field:

Its magnetic field is very similar to that of the earth, but it is weaker and began shortly after the planet formed more than 4.5 billion years ago. According to studies, it had a global magnetic field generated by liquid iron at very high temperatures inside the planet’s core.

It is the only planet in the inner solar system that has a magnetic field. Some studies claim that the solar wind is responsible for the planet’s magnetic field constantly weakening.


Mercury’s rotation is a bit complex to understand, it rotates on its axis very slowly compared to its orbital period. One rotation takes the planet a total of 175.97 Earth days according to NASA, while an orbital period only takes 88 Earth days. The day is 1,999 times longer than a single year. The equatorial rotation speed of the planet is 10,892 km / h.

Translation of Mercury:

The translation movement lasts 88 days and is one of the most complicated according to scientists because some of its rotations have movements that very few planets are capable of carrying out.

It has not yet been possible to know its average rotation as it moves or how its position in space affects the translational movements while it rotates slowly.


It is a planet that does not have natural satellites because it does not enjoy the presence of the moon.


The planet’s temperature varies strongly between day and night due to its rotational and translational movements. At night its temperatures are extremely hot, around 350 ° and 450 ° C, and at night they can drop to -170 ° C.


Some curiosities that we can tell you about Mercury are the following:

  • It is the smallest planet in the Solar System at only 4879 kilometers.
  • It is the second densest planet in the solar system, after earth.
  • It is the second hottest planet in the universe and the closest to the sun, this happens because the face of Mercury is facing the sun.
  • It does not have an atmosphere suitable for regulating temperatures.
  • Its core is melted according to scientists, as it is full of sulfur which does not allow it to remain compact.
  • Geological movements and the contraction of the planet’s core make it full of wrinkles.

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