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Nov 24, 2019 · Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and the smallest since Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. It is also one of five planets visible by the naked eye, along with Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. Despite its proximity to Earth, Mercury is among the least explored planets due to its proximity to the Sun.
Scientist have named these wrinkles, Lobate Scarps. These Scarps can be up to a mile high and hundreds of miles long. Mercury has a molten core. In recent years scientists from NASA have come to believe the solid iron core of Mercury could in fact be molten.
- Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.
- Mercury is the only metal that is a liquid at standard temperature and pressure. The only other liquid element under standard conditions is bromine (a halogen), although the metals rubidium, cesium, and gallium melt at a temperature just above room temperature.
- Although mercury and all its compounds are known to be highly toxic, it was considered therapeutic throughout much of history.
- The modern element symbol for mercury is Hg, which is the symbol for another name for mercury: hydrargyrum. Hydrargyrum comes from Greek words for "water-silver" (hydr- means water, argyros means silver).
- Mercury is a very rare element in the Earth's crust. It accounts for only about 0.08 parts per million (ppm) and is mainly found in the mineral cinnabar, which is mercuric sulfide.
- Mercury is the closest planet to the sun as well as the smallest planet in our solar system, in terms of both mass and volume.
- Mercury cannot be seen by the naked eye when the sky is fully dark. It only appears at dusk and dawn.
- Though it is the most difficult of the visible planets to see, Mercury's existence has been known since ancient Sumerian times, roughly 5,000 years ago.
- The ancient Greeks called Mercury Apollo when it was visible at dawn and Hermes at night.
It was probably created by a big impact long ago. Mercury has a very thin atmosphere called an exosphere. It is made out of oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium, and potassium. Since its surface is similar to our Moon, it indicates that the small planet hasn’t been geologically active for many years. The planet is primarily made out of rocks.