Welcome to our Solar / Planetary Walk which has been established in memorial to Alfred Piff, a longtime member of MBG and supporter of education for all. As you travel along the walk, you will experience the scale model of our solar neighborhood. Our walk is approximately .79 miles, and each planet is marked by Planetary Art Posts created by Nancy Thomas. Scanning the QR at each post will give access to information about each planet. Enjoy your walk!

The Planet MERCURY

Mercury's astronomical symbol

Named for the Roman messenger for the gods because of its quick orbit. It is difficult to see because it is so close to the Sun. It is the smallest planet, and as such has no atmosphere, so lots of impact craters remain undisturbed on its surface. Because it spins slowly on its axis and there is no wind to move heat around the surface, the daytime temperature reaches 750˚F while the nightside plummets to -330˚F. This small rocky world was photo-graphed by Mariner 10 in 1974 and the Messenger spacecraft began to study Mercury in 2008. Mercury’s surface gravity is .38 g’s.

DIAMETER: 3,032 miles
DISTANCE FROM SUN: .39 AU = 36 million miles = 3.2 light minutes
ROTATION: 59 days
MOONS: none
NAMED FOR: Mercury, the Roman messenger for the gods

Some Fun Facts - Did you know?

A mosaic of one visible quarter of Mercury. Since it orbits between us and the Sun, we can never see its full face.

Another mosaic of Mercury. There is no trace of water or atmosphere to erode the many craters which mark its rocky surface, though many of them are billions of years old. The surface is blasted by radiation from the solar wind.

The crater in the center of ‘The Spider’ is about 25 miles across and is surrounded by a web of radiating troughs. It sits in the Caloris Basin, the 960-mile-wide site of a huge impact billions of years ago.