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Four planets can be classified as inner planets. You have Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. Next comes Venus. Earth is next with Mars following close-by. These planets are known as terrestrial planets. They are called this because of the solid surface they have.

One of these terrestrial planets, Mercury, has a rather interesting terrain at that. Similar to the moon’s, Mercury’s land is full of craters. These craters have been named after artists of all sorts who are dead.

It is usually asserted that these craters were formed many billions of years ago when the planet was “forming”. However, there is no proof of the craters being that old. There are also cliffs that are nearly two miles high.

Because Mercury had no atmosphere his craters can be preserved with little erosion, just like the moon. Life would be impossible here because of that lack of atmosphere. When heat enters Earth the heat can be captured (or rejected) in our atmosphere. But, when Mercury receives heat it takes it all in and quickly releases it, giving it extremely cold nights of -292 F.

Because Mercury is so close to the sun it orbits around it very fast. Mercury orbits the sun four times by the time we get done with one. Even though Mercury’s orbital speed is fast his rotational speed is very slow.

Every one-and-a-half days on Mercury is a Mercury year. However those days are actually as long as 59 Earth days. If you were 16 (in Earth days and years) on Earth you would be 3,896 (Mercury days and years) years old on Mercury!

Mercury is the smallest planet humans have ever found (Pluto would be have him beat but he is a dwarf planet) and when compared to the Earth, we see why.

If Mercury were the size of a dime Earth would be slightly smaller than a ping-pong ball. That is kind of like comparing a six-foot tall person against a three-foot tall person.

If Mercury were the size of a dime the sun would be size of a fairly tall elephant. That is like comparing a 24 inch baby with a 566 foot tall building!

Despite being the “hot and fast” planet there is nothing cheap about it. Even his size speaks of the careful design he shows off. Yes, Mercury is a very unique and amazing planet.

 

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