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Type of Planet
: Terrestrial planet
Solar System Region
: Inner Solar System
Distance from the Sun
: 28,500,000 miles (perihelion) to 43,500,000 miles (aphelion)
Time to Orbit Around the Sun
: About 88 Earth days
Moons (natural satellites)
Total Surface Area
: 28,950,180 square miles (0.147 Earths)
16 Mercury Facts for Kids
The planet Mercury formed about 4.5 billion years ago.
The planet Mercury was first observed via a telescope in the 17th century by Galileo Galilei and Thomas Harriot.
The planet Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.
Mercury is a terrestrial planet.
Mercury is the smallest planet in our Solar System.
Mercury is the second densest planet in our Solar System.
Mercury's gravity is 62% weaker than Earth's gravity.
The radius of the planet Mercury is 1,516 miles.
Mercury's perihelion (closest) distance to the Sun is 28.5 million miles.
Mercury's aphelion (farthest) distance to the Sun is 43.5 million miles.
Light from our Solar System's Sun takes a little over three minutes to reach Mercury.
It takes Mercury 88 Earth days to complete an orbit around the Sun.
Mercury has no known moons (natural satellites).
The planet Mercury has no rings.
Mercury doesn't have an atmosphere. It has a thin exosphere. Its exosphere contains helium, hydrogen, sodium, oxygen and potassium.
The conditions on Mercury make it virtually impossible for life to evolve as we know it.
More Planet Facts
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Pluto Facts (Dwarf Planet)
Pictures of the Planet Mercury
A picture of the planet Mercury taken by the Messenger probe in 2008.
A colorful picture of the planet Mercury from the Messenger probe in 2008.
One of the first pictures of the planet Mercury from Mariner 10 in 1974.
Additional Resources on the Planet Mercury
Planet Mercury: Facts About the Planet Closest to the Sun
– Find more Mercury facts for kids on the Space.com website.
Overview | Mercury – NASA Solar System Exploration
– Learn more about the planet Mercury on the NASA website.
Interesting Facts About Mercury
– Explore some interesting facts about Mercury on the Universe Today website.