Photos of the Sun

Mercury surface. The Sun, Mercury and Venus

Mercury surface. The Sun, Mercury and Venus

The history of the formation of Mercury is similar to that of the Earth. About 4.5 billion years ago the planet formed. This was a time of intense bombardment of the planets as they collected the material and the remains of the nebula from which they formed. At an early stage of this formation, Mercury probably differed into a dense metal core and a silicate bark.

After a period of intense bombardment, lava ran across the surface of the planet and covered the ancient crust. During this period the inter-crater plains were formed. Then Mercury cooled.

During the third stage, lava flooded the lowlands and produced the soft plains.

During the fourth stage the bombardment of micrometeorites produced a powdery surface also known as regolith. A few larger meteorites collided with the surface producing bright craters with radii. Except for the occasional collisions of some meteorite, the surface of Mercury is no longer active and remains as it was millions of years ago.

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The planet MercuryMercury up close
Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: The Sun, Mercury and Venus