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MERCURY

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.  In the northern hemisphere of the planet, is Carnegie Rupes, a long steep faced ridge.  In places, it is about 2 kilometres (1.4 miles) high.  Here the Rupes can be seen slicing through the centre of a crater.


Image credit: MESSENGER, NASA.

Abedin crater, contains its own mountain range in its centre.


Image credit: MESSENGER, NASA

Mercury Facts

Diameter: 4,879 kilometres, or 3,032 miles

Rotation period (day): 58.6 Earth days

Orbital period (year): 87.969 Earth days.

Minimum temperature: -180 degrees Celsius, or -290 degrees Fahrenheit

Maximum temperature: 430 degrees Celsius, or 800 degrees Fahrenheit

Closest approach to the Sun (Perihelion): 46,001,200 kilometres (46 million, 1 thousand, 200 kilometres), or 28,600,000 miles (28 million, 600 thousand miles)

Furthest distance from the Sun (Aphelion): 69,816,900 kilometres (69 million, 816 thousand, 900 kilometres), or 43,400,000 miles (43 million, 400 thousand miles)

Missions to Mercury: Mariner 10 (NASA, 1973); MESSENGER (NASA, 2004); BepiColombo (ESA, JAXA, scheduled to launch in October 2018)


View of Mercury from orbit.


Image credit: MESSENGER, NASA.