Mercury, innermost planet of the Solar System, is easily visible to the naked eye and has figured prominently in folklore and mythology through the ages. Mercury derives its romanized name from the Greek god, Hermes, the Olympian patron of trade, travel and thieves. The first recorded observation of Mercury is by Timocharis, who noted its position in the heavens in 265 B.C. As viewed from Earth, Mercury is never more than 28° from the Sun and, consequently, it can be seen only in the twilight hours. Thus, even though it is an easy object to see, telescopic scientific observations are difficult. The Italian astronomer, Zupus, first recorded the phases of Mercury in 1639, while surface markings were not noted until 1800 when the astronomers Schröter and Harding reported albedo patterns.
KeywordsImpact Crater Diameter Crater Crater Floor Large Crater Lunar Crater
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