Surface of Mercury, artwork

Surface of Mercury, artwork

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Credit: CHRIS BUTLER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Surface of Mercury. Computer artwork showing the surface of the planet Mercury with the Sun passing overhead. At its closest, Mercury is only 46 million kilometres from the Sun, less than a third of the Earth-Sun distance. The surface temperature extremes are the greatest in the solar system, ranging (day-night) from 400 to -170 degrees Celsius. Due to the relative lengths of the days and years on Mercury, and the eccentricity of Mercury's orbit, the Sun changes in apparent size and speeds up and slows down as it moves across the sky.

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Keywords: artwork, astronomical, astronomy, atmosphere, closest, crater, craters, curvature, curve, extreme temperatures, heat, horizon, hot, illustration, landform, landforms, mercury, overhead, photosphere, planet, planetary, planetary science, shine, shining, solar, solar system, space, star, starburst, stars, sun, surface, temperature

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