Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Mercury was officially observed for the first time 2200 years ago, however we still know very little about this planet compared to other more popular planets of our solar system. Mercury is rarely visible as such it is always been difficult for astronomers to observe it through a telescope due to its proximity to the Sun, viewing Mercury faces an additional challenge regardless of the position in the solar system, many consider Mercury one of the most attractive planet. Let’s look at some of the amazing facts on Mercury; The planet was named after the Greek god Hermes who the Romans worshipped as well and called Mercury Hermes was known for being the messenger of the god.
Mercury was one of the five original planets along with Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury is visible from Earth with the naked eye as such it was mentioned as early as the 2nd millennium BCE by the Sumerians, the Babylonians called the planet naboo. The first officially recorded observation of the planet was made by a Greek astronomer named Tim Icarus in 265 BCE. The Greeks called the planet Apollo during the day and the Hermes during the evening.
Mercury has honor of being the closest planet to the Sun as a result the rays from the Sun that hit Mercury are seven times more powerful than those that reach our planet, in other words Mercury is not the best place to get a safety. Mercury is also called the smallest planet in the solar system, suck at Pluto I guess it has a diameter of four thousand eight hundred and seventy nine kilometers for the record Pluto’s equatorial diameter is just two thousand three hundred and two kilometers, about half of the Mercury’s width but it’s not consider a major planet anymore.
You may have heard that Mercury lacks an atmosphere and this is actually what many scientists believed until recently truth is that Mercury has an atmosphere, it’s just the very thin one, the planets thin atmosphere is constantly being blown away into space by the pressure of sunlight and by the solar wind, so it feels like there is no atmosphere at all.
Despite its very small size Mercury is very dense, this is because it is composed mainly of heavy metals and rock, in fact Mercury is the second most dense planet in the solar system. The densest planet happens to be Earth. Despite Mercury being the closest to the Sun, it is only the second hottest planet. Venus is actually the hottest, the temperature on Mercury during the day reaches 840 degrees Fahrenheit or 450 Celsius
Although it is very hot during the day on Mercury things get really cold during the night there ;but how is that possible when it is so close to the Sun? right the answer is that Mercury loses almost all its heat due to the fact that there is almost no atmosphere to keep the warmth on the planet’s surface. The temperature can fall to almost negative 363 degrees Fahrenheit during the night which is negative 184 Celsius.
The super hot days and very cold nights on Mercury make the planet unique.The temperature on Mercury surface fluctuates more widely than any other planet, it can vary by 1168 degrees Fahrenheit or 649 Celsius during the day. As mentioning the previous points since Mercury has less mass than Earth, the gravity on Mercury is less than it is on Earth to get a better idea of a surface gravity our Mercury is only about 38 percent of the surface gravity on Earth.