10 Astounding But True Facts About the Planet Mercury

An Eccentric Orbit

Mercury is the planet with the most unusual orbit in the solar system. What is an eccentric orbit, you ask? The eccentricity of an astronomical object is a parameter that defines the measure by which its orbit about another body diverges from a perfect circle.

Interestingly, its eccentricity is not all that remarkable contrasted to those of dwarf planets and some recognized extra-solar planets. Pluto, for instance, has a larger eccentric orbit than Mercury, but it’s not recognized as a “real” planet anymore.

A Crazy Fast Orbit

Animated Mercury in space 3D illustration

What’s even more remarkable about Mercury’s orbit is its amazing speed.

It is the speediest planet in our solar system, with an average speed of about 105 miles (170 kilometers) per hour.

A Year of 88 Days

Because of its enormous speed, Mercury orbits the sun in just 88 Earth days.

Relatively, our planet needs 365 days to do the same. (If you experienced life on Mercury, you would simply have about three months to accomplish all your New Year’s resolutions!)