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Named after Hermes
The planet was named after the Greek god, Hermes, whom the Romans worshiped as well and called Mercury.
Hermes was known for being the messenger of the gods.
One of the Five Original Planets
Mercury was one of the five “original” planets. Along with Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, Mercury is visible from Earth with the naked eye. As such, it was mentioned as early as the second millennium BC by the Sumerians; the Babylonians called the planet Nabu.
The first officially recorded observation of the planet was made by a Greek astronomer named Timocharis in 265 BC. The Greeks called the planet Apollo during the day and Hermes during the evening.
The Closest Planet to the Sun
You already knew this, but we’re going to say it anyway. Mercury has the honor of being the closest planet to the sun.
As a result, t
Smallest Planet in the Solar System
Mercury is also the smallest planet in the solar system. It has a diameter of 4,879 kilometers.
For the record, Pluto’s equatorial diameter is just 2,302 kilometers, about half Mercury’s width, but it’s not considered a major planet anymore.
The Second Most Dense Planet
Despite its very small size, Mercury is very dense. This is because it’s composed mainly of heavy metals and rock.
In fact, Mercury is the second most dense planet in our solar system. The densest planet happens to be Earth.