This is a false color image of a mosaic of Mercury.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA.
Mercury's Interior and Surface
Mercury, the innermost planet of the solar system, is a little
bigger than the Earth's Moon. The
of the planet is covered with craters, like the Moon, but
can reach over 800oF because Mercury is so close to the Sun and
rotates so slowly.
Scientists believe that the interior
of Mercury includes a metallic core, an intermediate rocky layer,
and a thin
brittle crust. The composition
of Mercury is probably high in iron, although
indicate that volcanic activity once existed at the surface.
There is little evidence of motions near the
surface of the planet now, although at earlier times during Mercury's
the surface was much more active. We know relatively little about
compared to most of the other planets, because it is relatively
difficult to see and only one
has studied the planet.
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