Looking up to the night sky, you can see countless stars, the Moon, and….planets. You might not be aware, but some of the stars are actually planets from our own solar system. It’s not easy to distinguish them, but since ancient times astronomers have observed 5 planets in our skies. Mercury, Venus, Mars,Jupiter and Saturn are all visible with the naked eye. Today we’ll talk about the smallest one of them, Mercury.
Mercury, our tiny brother in the solar system
If you look at the picture, it’s doesn’t look like the most exciting planet. It looks like our moon even, only slightly bigger. With a diameter of 4879 kilometers, Mercury is only twice as big as Pluto and only a third the size of our own planet. This minuscule rock is named after the Roman god Mercurius. Mercurius was the god of merchants, shopkeepers, travelers and thieves. He was also considered the messenger of the gods. It is said that Mercurius was the Roman version of the Greek god Hermes.
Of all the planets in our solar system, Mercury is the closest to the Sun. On average the distance to our star is 58 million kilometers. This close it can get pretty warm. On a good sunny day, it can get up to 427 degrees centigrade. Strangely enough, this makes Mercury the second warmest planet in the solar system. On Venus, the temperature goes up to 462 degrees centigrade. Mercury has a very rudimentary sort of atmosphere, but it’s not strong enough to regulate any climate or temperature. That’s why on the cold side of the planet it gets pretty cold. You’ll need a very thick winter jacket if you want to enjoy the -173 degrees centigrade.
A year on Mercury lasts only 88 days. It only takes the planet 3 Earth months to orbit around the Sun. A day on Mercury lasts twice as long as a Mercury year. The small ball turns around its own axis in 176 days.
Mercury in astrology
As Mercury is the messenger of the gods, it is also the planet of communication when it comes to your horoscope. Besides communication, Mercury also influences intellect, awareness, logic and reasoning.
If Mercury is strong in your birth chart, you will show signs of restlessness and constant motion. Mercury is all about quick thinking and wittiness. A lot of people’s first impressions are the Mercury side of their personality. What do we want to communicate to others? How do we want to convey a message? A positive Mercury lets us be quick and funny while the negative side makes us look nervous and indecisive. In our daily horoscopes it rules Gemini, Virgo, as well as the Third and Sixth Houses. On average, Mercury hangs around in a zodiac sign for about 3 weeks before it moves on.