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Mercury

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Mercury is a lot like our Moon, only bigger: about 40% bigger. It has the same heavily cratered surface shared by our moon and all bodies without atmospheres. And just as the rotation of our moon is tidally coupled to its orbit around Earth, Mercury's rotational period is coupled to its orbit around the sun. It rotates exactly three times in every two orbits about the sun.

Because Mercury is so close to the sun, only 58 million kilometers away, its surface is very hot. The average surface temperature is 179 C, and it gets as hot as 427 C on a hot Mercury day. Yet astronomers think there may be ice hiding in craters at Mercury's polar regions...just like on our moon! [TB] {EA}


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