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A trip across the Solar System: Mercury

Mercury, a heavily cratered planetMercury is the nearest planet to the Sun. It is the smallest planet in the Solar System. Named by the Romans after the winged-foot messenger of the gods, Mercury orbits the Sun more quickly than any other planet, taking just 88 days. Mercury can be seen from Earth, but not very easily: it is always low in the dawn or twilight sky close to the Sun.


A view of Mercury's landscapeMercury’s surface is bare, rocky and covered with craters, ridges and lava plains. Millions of years ago, Mercury was bombarded by meteorites (boulders falling from space). They punched thousands of craters into its surface.

Mercury is named after the Roman messenger of the gods.

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