Mercury is the first planet in our solar system and one of our closest neighbors!
It is a fun one to learn about, and has so many facts that are the opposite of what you might think!
Know Your Planet Mercury
Let’s get some fun facts and questions answered right away:
What are 5 facts about Mercury?
- Mercury is named after a Roman God.
- It is the closest planet to the sun.
- It is mostly made of rocks.
- One day is the same as 1/2 and Earth year! (176 Earth days)
- Not only is it the smallest planet – but it is shrinking!
Can humans live Mercury?
Mercury’s extreme temperatures and lack of an atmosphere would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for people to live on the planet. It also has extreme temperature fluctuations, from boiling hot to freezing cold. That means Mercury is not likely a planet that humans would ever want to colonize.
Is Mercury the hottest planet?
Even though Mercury is the planet the closest to our star (the sun) it isn’t the hottest planet in our solar system. Venus gets that honor.
Mercury gets very cold because it has almost no atmosphere to hold in heat and keep the surface warm. The temperature can drop down to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the day, it is a scorcher – so it has extremely variable temperatures.
What is special about Mercury?
If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would only weigh 38 pounds on Mercury – talk about a weight loss plan!
Mercury is shrinking?
The planet is downsizing because it is cooling. Images snapped by a NASA spacecraft have provided the first complete picture of how the single rocky plate that encapsulates Mercury is contracting, warping the surface into puckered ridges and scallop-edged cliffs.
If it disappears all together, it is no big deal. They figure that it won’t throw the rest of our planets out of any kind of orbit alignment as it is so small to begin with.
Don’t worry, at the rate it is shrinking, it will be a loooong time before that is even an issue. Right now, it is a little larger than our Earth moon.
Space Books to learn more about our solar system
The Pop Up, Pull Out Space Book
Take an amazing journey through our universe with this incredible pop-up and pull-out space book! Go with your child on an interactive journey through space with the help of a spectacular 3D pop-up solar system scene, amazing pictures, fantastic pull-out pages, fun quizzes and masses of fascinating facts. They’ll visit each of the planets, stop off at the moon and gaze at stars in other galaxies and much more.
Astronomy for Kids
This Book Astronomy for Kids – The ultimate space knowledge base for children is designed to blow your mind with incredible images, from the deep darkness of black holes to the spectacular sparkle of supernovas. The many mysteries of the Universe are explored in breathtaking detail, including in-depth cross-sections and lifelike cutaways to showcase the planets, stars, moons, and space stations.
Featuring absolutely everything under the Sun, this exciting visual reference guide is your guaranteed one-stop-shop for space. Filled with the latest facts, infographics, and NASA images, Space! takes you on a journey that is truly out of this world before bringing you back seriously starry-eyed!