The Punching Bag Planet

Mercury Is like a punching bag! This little planet is covered with thousands of holes called craters. A crater Is a hole caused by a meteorite hitting the surface of a planet or moon. A meteorite is a piece of rock or metal that flies through space and hits a planet or moon.

Why do you think so many meteorites hit Mercury? There is no air mass or atmosphere to stop them, so they simply bang right into the planet! No wonder Mercury looks like a punching bag!

Try this experiment and create the surface of Mercury!

You will need: a small flat pan dirt or sand to make mud small rocks

1. Fill a flat pan with soft mud.

2. Drop small rocks into the soft mud.

3. Push some of the mud up to form mountains.

M. Leave some of the mud flat.

5. When the mud is beginning to dry, remove the rocks. Now you have craters on the surface just like on the planet Mercury!

ACROSS

3. A year on Morcury would last

The closest planet to the Sun Mercury circles the Sun very These ore found on Mercury.

The surface of Mercury is like a_

Morcury is port of our_system.

Mercury spins on Hs. _slowly.

DOWN

1. A_on Mercury lasts only

88 Earth days.

2. Mercury turns once every „days. 5. Giont holes on Mercury

7. Mercury Is very hot because It is so_to the Sun.

q First word in name of Mercury's largest crater 12. Size of Mercury in comparison with the Earth

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. It is about 36 million miles from the Sun. Half the size of Earth. Mercury is just a little larger than our Moon. It circles the Sun very fast. It takes Earth 365 days, or one year, to complete one orbit around the Sun. It takes Mercury only 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. Mercury spins slowly. It takes Earth 2M hours, or one day, to make one complete turn on its axis. Mercury turns once every 53 Earth days. Because this is close to the length of one Mercury orbit. Mercury has a "day" from one sunrise to the next, of 176 Earth days. Mercury's "day" is twice as long as its yearl The surface of Mercury Is desertlike, with rocks and giant holes, or craters. Its biggest crater is called caloris basin. These craters make Mercury look like our moon. Because of its nearness to the Sun, Mercury is extremely hot — twice as hot as a pizza oven — about 800° F.

ACROSS

3. A year on Morcury would last

The closest planet to the Sun Mercury circles the Sun very These ore found on Mercury.

The surface of Mercury is like a_

Morcury is port of our_system.

Mercury spins on Hs. _slowly.

DOWN

1. A_on Mercury lasts only

88 Earth days.

2. Mercury turns once every „days. 5. Giont holes on Mercury

7. Mercury Is very hot because It is so_to the Sun.

q First word in name of Mercury's largest crater 12. Size of Mercury in comparison with the Earth

Do you think you could ever live on Mercury? The side facing the Sun is over 800 degrees! The side away from the Sun is almost -305 degrees!

If you want to know what Mercury looks Mercury has almost no atmosphere or air mass surrounding it. Without an atmosphere, if you stood on the planet and looked up. the sky would seem black. The Sun looks 2 J times larger from Mercury than Earth.

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like, just think of the Moon.

like, just think of the Moon.

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