Fun Fact 2: How big is Mercury? It is around a third of the size of the Earth and has a diameter of 4880 km. It is the second to smallest of the planets in the solar system; Pluto is the smallest
Fun Fact 3: Mercury is the fastest moving planet; it orbits the sun in 88 days. This is probably why it was given its name; after the roman fast-flying messenger god Mercury
Fun Fact 4: The Ancient Greeks also referred to Mercury by the names Apollo and Hermes, depending on the time of day; Apollo was 'the morning star' and Hermes 'the evening star'
Fun Fact 5: What is it like on the surface of the Planet Mercury? The surface is very rocky and almost completely covered in craters; it has been heavily scarred from meteorite collisions
Fun Fact 6: Possibly the largest crater or impact basins in the solar system can be found on Mercury. Caloris Basin (also known as Caloris Planitia) was discovered in 1974, it measures 1,550 km (960 miles) in diameter
Fun Fact 7: The temperature on Mercury varies more than any other planet; it ranges from -173°C (-280°F) at night to 427°C (800°F) during the day
Fun Fact 8: Does the Planet Mercury have any Moons? Planet Mercury does not have any Moons, it is one of the few planets which has no moons or satellites
Fun Fact 9: Sometimes Mercury is clearly visible in the sky. Resembling a shinning bright star it can often be seen low in the sky just before sunrise of after sun set; it is best viewed through binoculars or a telescope (Important note: never look directly at the sun, even looking at the rays can cause blindness!)
Fun Fact 10: Because of Mercury's brightness and size it was mistakenly identified by early astronomers as one of five fast moving 'wandering stars'; the stars were later re-identified as Planets
Fun Fact 11: The only space mission to Mercury was in 1973 when unmanned space probe Mariner 10 was sent by the U.S. for an exploration mission
Fun Fact 12: Space probe Mariner 10 mapped half of the Planets surface in great detail, it also investigated the environment, atmosphere and planet features; it made a similar exploration of Planet Venus
Fun Fact 13: Mariner 10 discovered that Mercury has a fragile atmosphere which mainly consists of helium
Fun Fact 14: Unlike most planets Mercury only turns very slowly on its axis. Earth takes 24 hours, or one day, to rotate from day to night mercury moves so slowly it takes 59 days!
Fun Fact 15: There is no possibility of life on Mercury! Due to its extreme temperature, lack of atmosphere, light and water