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Crash Course Astronomy: Mercury

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Quick: What’s the hottest planet in the solar system?

You might think Mercury, because it’s the closest to the Sun. But in fact, it’s not! Venus is hotter due to its runaway greenhouse effect.

But that’s not to say Mercury isn’t loaded with astronomical goodness. It’s got a lot going on: craters, rupes, a swollen iron core, and a frosty surprise in its boreal craters.

So please watch, listen, and enjoy this week’s episode of Crash Course Astronomy: Mercury.

And a side note I can’t help but mention: Right now as I write this, NASA’s MESSENGER probe has but weeks to live. Out of propellant, by the end of April it’s destined to slam into Mercury’s surface after more than 4,000 orbits of service to science.

Crash Course Mercury, indeed.

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