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Astrological Significance

Mercury represents the intellect, learning and communications. Whereas Venus represents our urge to communicate one's feelings with someone else, the energy of Mercury is limited to more practical matters: communicating ideas and knowledge, rather than emotions.

Mercury is also concerned with short journeys: for example, you may find that a difficult aspect to Mercury means that you should be especially careful not to have an accident. In the same way, misunderstandings can arise when Mercury is in a difficult aspect to another planet in your chart.

Astronomical details

Mercury is the innermost planet of the Solar System. It is the smallest planet, apart from Pluto, and has a diameter of around 4,870 km. It has a very elliptical orbit. Because it turns so slowly on its axis, its day is actually shorter than its year.

Download a photomosaic of Mercury taken from Mariner 10 (JPG, 27K)

Download a close-up photograph of Mercury, showing how similiar the surface is to that of the Moon (JPG, 47K)

Mechanical Data
Mass 3.3 x 1023
Diameter 4,878 km
Average distance from Sun 0.387
Period of rotation 58.65 Earth days
Period of revolution 88 Earth days
Mean surface temperature 452 K
Maximum surface temperature 700 K
Minimum surface temperature 100 K
Temperature on surface 100 - 675K
Atmosphere Trace amounts of hydrogen, helium, sodium, potassium, oxygen and neon.

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