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Mercury (Planet)

Basic Properties, Mercury's Rotation Rate, Surface Features, Polar Ice, Internal Structure

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. It is a small world only slightly larger than Earth's Moon. Next to the planet Pluto, Mercury is one of the least explored planets within our solar system. Visited only once in all the years of solar system exploration (three brief fly-bys of Mariner 10 during 1974–75), only about 45% of Mercury's surface has been imaged from nearby. All that may change rather soon when NASA's Messenger and the European Space Agency's Beppi Columbo missions launch in 2004 and 2009, respectively.


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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Mathematics to Methanal trimer