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The Solar System




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Mercury

wide angle view

Mercury is the eighth largest planet in our solar system with a diameter of 3,032 miles. This planet was named after the god Mercury, because he was swift and fast. Mercury is approximately 29,000,000 miles to about 43,000,000 miles from the sun, due to its orbital period, etc. It's perihelion is 46,000,000 kilometers from the sun. On the contrary, its aphelion is 70,000,000 kilometers. Mercury's atmosphere is extremely thin, so atoms quickly escape by the sun's solar wind, and then it becomes restored over time. This causes unstable temperatures ranging from -297.67 degrees all the way to 800.33 degrees fahrenheit! It's density is 5.43 g/cm3, the second densest planet next to Earth. If you flew to Mercury, a 100 lb. person would only weigh 37.8 pounds! Now that's rapid weight loss! This is because the surface gravity of Mercury is .378 that of Earth.

The oddest thing about Mercury is how long its day is compared to its year. Its day is about 59 earth days. It's orbital period, or year, is about 88 earth days. It has a relatively long day, but such a short year. Its year has only 1 1/2 days!