Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System, with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days. Seen from the Earth, it appears to move around its orbit in about 116 days, which is much faster than any other planet.
This rapid motion may have led to it being named after the Roman deity Mercury, the fast-flying messenger to the gods. Since it has almost no atmosphere to retain heat, Mercury's surface experiences the greatest temperature variation of all the planets, ranging from 100 K (−173 °C; −280 °F) at night to 700 K (427 °C; 800 °F) during the day. Mercury's axis has the smallest tilt of any of the Solar System's planets (about 1⁄30 of a degree), but it has the largest orbital eccentricity. At aphelion, Mercury is about 1.5 times as far from the Sun as it is at perihelion. Mercury's surface is heavily cratered and similar in appearance to Earth's Moon, indicating that it has been geologically inactive for billions of years.
- 867 Views
More symbols in Planets:
Planets in astrology have a meaning different from the modern astronomical understanding of what a planet is. Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two very similar co… read more »
More symbols in Astronomical Symbols:
Astronomical symbols are symbols used to represent various celestial objects, theoretical constructs and observational events in astronomy. The earliest forms of these symbols appear in Greek papyri … read more »
More symbols in Astrological Symbols:
Astrological symbols are images used in various astrological systems to denote relevant objects. Symbols for the classical planets, zodiac signs, aspects, lots, and the lunar nodes appear in the me… read more »