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Mercury
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Astronomical Object
    First planet from the star Sol
    Eighth largest planet in the Solar System
    About 35,980,000 miles from the Sun
    Formally known as Hermes (at night) and Apollo (during the day) by ancient Greeks
    First accurately observed by Pythagoras as one planet
    First recorded observation by Timocharis (circa 265 B.C.); known since the time of the Sumerians (circa 3000 B.C.)
    First visit made by Mariner 10 spacecraft (1974-75)
    Composition is 70% metallic and 30% silicate
    Named after the Roman god of trade, profit and commerce
    Has an eccentric orbiting pattern ranging from 46-70 million kilometers in radius
    Has no known satellites
    Scientists have not been able to study it thoroughly due to it’s proximity to the Sun .
    It shares it’s name with a car model, WNBA team and ‘Sailor Moon’ character.
    It’s surface is heavily cratered, just like a big city highway.
    It has extreme temperature variations and it is one of the most eccentric planets (in terms of orbit, that is).
    The atoms comprising its atmosphere are constantly being ‘Lost In Space.’
    If you just missed seeing the Sun rise while visiting there, you would have to wait 176 Earth days to see it again.
    Astrologists believe you can expect unexpected frustrations when it is in retrograde.
    Astrologists believe it rules the bowels, nervousness, mental disorders, diarrhea, ulcers, moles and warts.
    The gas molecules of its atmosphere collide with the surface more than they do with each other.
    It typically loses most of its very thin atmosphere of potassium and sodium in three hours.
    It is the closest planet to the Sun, and for that reason, it has not been mapped sufficiently.
    Only 40-45% of the planet has been mapped by researchers.
    The Sun light is 8.9 times more intense than it is on Earth.
    Though it shares its name with the element mercury, it is mostly composed of iron.
    Its orbiting pattern is second to Pluto as being the most irregular.
    There is a temperature difference of about 600° between the hottest and coldest spots.
    It was named after the Roman God of commerce, travel and thievery.
    It was one of the first planets to be viewed by humans from Earth.
    It can be seen from Earth during the morning and evening twilight hours.
    The Greeks had two names for it; Apollo (morning star) and Hermes (evening star).
    It is a favorite locale for science fiction writers.
    Astrologists believe it rules mentality, thinking, communication skills and perception.
    Its symbol contains three parts; a cross representing Earth manifestation, a circle representing spirit and a crescent representing personality.
    Its surface is very similar to the surface of the Earth's moon.
    Beethoven, a crater of 643 kilometers, is the largest of its kind in the Solar System.
    There is ice deep within the craters of the side of the planet that the Sun never reaches.
    Large craters at the north and south pole of it might make human colonization possible.
    It has been the setting of novels and short stories of many science fiction writers, including Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.
    Its years are only a day and a half.
    A second NASA mission to Mercury has been commissioned on the MESSENGER Boeing Delta 2 rocket. It will enter a year-long orbit of the planet in March 2011.
    Its name is shared with Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury.

Credit: D and Captain Howdy


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