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Mercury Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Mercury Quizzes, Trivia

Mercury Trivia

Mercury Trivia Quizzes

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It may be small, but it's fast. Test your knowledge on the planet nearest the sun by playing these quizzes.
4 Mercury quizzes and 50 Mercury trivia questions.
1.
  Marvellous Mercury   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The NaMaPoJo GoGo Quiz Pros are relying on me to (quickly) explore the wonders of Mercury, which will no doubt be an 'amazing' race for me. Will you join me on this 'astronomical' adventure, as I learn all about the planet Mercury? If so, let's hop to it
Average, 10 Qns, poshprice, Dec 01 13
Average
poshprice
2462 plays
2.
  Twenty Questions About Mercury   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
I am doing a series of 20 questions of each of the planets as well as asteroids and comets. Here are twenty questions on the planet Mercury. What do you know about the Sun's nearest neighbor?
Average, 20 Qns, almach, Oct 09 20
Average
almach
Oct 09 20
4008 plays
3.
  Little Planet, Big Secrets   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
While a lot is known about little Mercury, its proximity to the sun means the planet's secrets are difficult to discover. Explore some of the fascinating features of Mercury.
Average, 10 Qns, leith90, Jul 04 22
Average
leith90 gold member
Jul 04 22
217 plays
4.
  Mercury, the Water Star    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz on the rocky planet Mercury. By the way, "Water Star" is its name in Chinese and Japanese.
Tough, 10 Qns, jonthomas, Sep 22 12
Tough
jonthomas
382 plays
trivia question Quick Question
Mercury's year is how many Earth's days?

From Quiz "Twenty Questions About Mercury"





Mercury Trivia Questions

1. Launched in 2018, which European-Japanese collaborative is on a mission to study Mercury?

From Quiz
Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: BepiColombo

Named for Italian Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo, the Mercury mission to study Mercury and its magnetosphere is a joint effort between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The craft had its first flyby in 2021, capturing images of the planet, and is due to reach orbit in 2025. The ESA will study the surface and interior of the planet, while JAXA will focus on the magnetosphere.

2. Saturn is the sixth planet closest to the Sun, while Earth is the third. What then is Mercury's proximity to the Sun?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: First planet closest to the Sun

Mercury is indeed the closest planet to the Sun, and as a result is one of the most difficult to observe. It is also the fastest moving and smallest planet in the Solar System, and has almost no atmosphere. As for the order of the planets, they are: Mercury; Venus; Earth; Mars; Jupiter; Saturn; Uranus and Neptune. One of the easiest ways to remember the order of the planets is by using a mnemonic such as 'My Violent Evil Monster Just Scared Us Nuts'.

3. Mercury has many craters on its surface. Which is the largest in diameter?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: Caloris Basin

Caloris Basin is also one of the largest known craters in the entire Solar System. It is roughly 1,550 kilometers in diameter.

4. Similar to ridges on our moon, scientists have discovered Lobate scarps on Mercury. What common name, a sign of aging, is sometimes used instead?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Wrinkles

A lobate scarp is a thrust fault that causes ridges and valleys on Mercury, and our moon. While neither of these celestial bodies have tectonic plates, the crust still lifts or collapses due to movement under the surface. While the moon's scarps are restricted to the highlands, Mercury's scarps are larger and are distributed across the entire planet. The scarps on Mercury are sometimes linear and, on photos, resemble wrinkles.

5. As with most of the planets in the Solar System (apart from Earth and Uranus), Mercury is named after a Roman god. Which of the planet's attributes match that of the god it was named after?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: Its speed

The planet Mercury shares a great deal with its Roman namesake. Indeed the Roman god Mercury is known for his speed, making him the perfect namesake for the fastest moving planet in the Solar System. Moreover he is also known as the messenger of the Roman gods (his Greek equivalent being Hermes), which fits well with the planet's ability to travel quickly, and thus be seen in both the morning and evening. What's more, at one stage in history, this led to the misunderstanding that the planet was actually two different heavenly bodies.

6. What is unique about Mercury compared to other rocky planets?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: It has little to no surface pressure

Astronomers have not been able to detect much surface pressure on Mercury, if any. This is due to its very thin atmosphere, meaning there is minimal air pressure on Mercury. Mercury was also at one time falsely believed to be tidally locked, but this was disproven. Venus is the other rocky planet with no moons.

7. What is Mercury's core made of?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Mostly solid iron

Mercury has a solid, dense core comprised of silica and iron and it contains more iron than any other planet. It was thought that the inner core was liquid iron, but data sent back from the MESSENGER analysis changed scientist's thinking. Planets that are closer to the sun comprise more iron due to the sun's magnetic field, and Mercury's high content makes it the second most dense planet. It has the proportionally largest core of any planet.

8. For a brief time in 1974, astronomers thought they had detected a small moon orbiting Mercury. What had they actually detected?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: A far off binary star system

A probe sent to study Mercury had detected data showing occasional blips in electromagnetic radiation that hinted at the presence of a moon around Mercury. It was thought that the potential moon was blocking part of Mercury from the probe's sensors, however it was later discovered to be one star eclipsing another in a binary system.

9. Scientist's have determined that Mercury is shrinking. What do they think is the cause of this shrinkage?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Cooling of its interior

Mercury has a solid crust and, as the inner metal core cools, it contracts. As the crust does not have tectonic plates, it cannot move to fit the smaller surface area. Eventually, gravity compresses the crust, causing it to buckle and wrinkle.

10. While Saturn has over sixty moons, planet Earth has only one. How many moons does the planet Mercury have?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: 0

A moon is a natural satellite, and six of the planets in the Solar System have at least one. These planets are Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, leaving Mercury and Venus as the only two planets without a single moon. However there was a time when astronomers believed there was a moon on Mercury, as the Mariner 10 space probe once detected a considerable amount of unexplainable ultraviolet radiation. Yet though this initially led to the belief that there was a moon somewhere on the planet, overnight the radiation disappeared, leading astronomers to conclude that its source was actually a distant star.

11. NASA astronomers have said that in the case of discovering a Mercurian moon, the recommended name is what?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: Caduceus

A caduceus is also used as the planetary symbol of Mercury. It also represents a messenger, which the god Mercury was. The name, however, is purely a suggestion, and if one is discovered, it is not guaranteed to be named as such.

12. Mercury has how many natural satellites?

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: None

Mercury, the innermost planet has no natural satellites.

13. Due to the planet's lack of atmosphere, what colour is Mercury's sky?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: Black

Despite its close proximity to the Sun, unlike planet Earth, Mercury has no real atmosphere to scatter the Sun's rays, and so its sky appears black. Indeed the planet has the thinnest atmosphere of all of the planets that make up the Solar System, with most of the particles that make up its thin atmosphere stemming from the Sun.

14. How many astronomical units (AU) is the planet Mercury from the Sun?

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: 0.38 AU

The Earth is one astronomical unit from the Sun, about 93 million miles or 150,000,000 kilometers. Mercury averages about 36 million miles or 58 million kilometers from the Sun.

15. The largest feature on the surface of Mercury is an impact crater discovered in 1974. What name, from the Latin word for 'heat', was given to this crater?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Caloris Basin

The Caloris Basin, also called Caloris Planitia, was first seen in 1974 when the Mariner 10 probe photographed it during a fly by. At the time, the 1350km diameter Caloris was on the terminator (the demarkation betwen night and day), so it wasn't seen in its entirety until the MESSSENGER mission in 2008. The new images found the basin to larger than first thought. The rim of the crater is marked by a series of mountains, which also happen to be the highest on Mercury. Plains between the mountains are thought to have been gullies, later filled by volcanic ash and lava.

16. How hot is the Sun-facing side of Mercury at aphelion (furthest distance from the Sun)?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: 550 K

Mercury has the most eccentric orbit of the rocky planets, so its distance from the Sun varies quite a bit. This means that the Sun's rays will spread out more as they have to travel farther to reach Mercury, so they will not carry as much heat per area.

17. The gravity of Mercury as compared to Earth (which is 1.00g) is?

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: 0.38g

Much lower than Earth's gravity. The escape velocity from Mercury is 4.3 km per sec, while the Earth's escape velocity is 11.2 km per sec.

18. One of the photos of Mercury's previously less visible regions revealed an image the scientists called a birthmark. Which animal does it most resemble?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Spider

Inside the Caloris Basin, images from BepiColombo revealed a second impact crater, this one with 50 to 100 troughs or fissures radiating out from the central area. An impact crater like this has not been seen on any other planet, so there was some debate over the cause. It has been hypothesised that, instead of being caused by the initial impact, the troughs were caused by a resultant volcanic intrusion beneath the surface.

19. What did robotic space probe, Mariner 10, reveal about Mercury, following its launch in November, 1973?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: Mercury has a magnetic field

NASA's Mariner 10 was a robotic space probe that was launched on the 3rd of November, 1973, with the intention of taking certain measurements of both Mercury and Venus. Though it is widely known that it was the first mission to Mercury, the probe was also the first probe to visit two planets as part of one single mission. During one particular flyby, Mariner 10 detected that Mercury had a magnetic field, a fact that was previously unknown. As for the incorrect answers, it is Neptune that has the strongest winds and is the coldest planet in the Solar System, while Mars has the longest and deepest canyon.

20. The axial tilt of Mercury is how many degrees?

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: 2

Mercury's has the least tilt of all the planets.

21. When the orbital nodes of Mercury and Earth align, Mercury can be seen travelling in front of the Sun. What is this event called?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Transit

An orbital node is when the orbital planes of two celestial bodies intersect. When Earth and Mercury are on the same plane, Mercury can be seen as a black dot passing in front of the Sun. This is known as the Transit of Mercury and it normally occurs in May or November, around 14 times per century. The Transit of Mercury was predicted by Johannes Kepler in 1630, and the first recorded person to witness it was Pierre Gassendi in 1631. The next transit is predicted for November 2032.

22. In 2008, a NASA spacecraft made its first flyby of Mercury, becoming only the second spacecraft to ever have completed a flyby of the planet. What was its name?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: Messenger

NASA's Messenger spacecraft, which is an acronym for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging, was first launched in 2004, with the aim of exploring the planet Mercury. By March, 2013, Messenger had accomplished another first, by mapping 100% of the surface of Mercury, something that Mariner 10 had only managed to complete 50% of, nearly forty years earlier.

23. How much of Mercury's surface was mapped after the MESSENGER probe's first flyby?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: Only around half

To be precise, Mercury's surface area was about 45% mapped after the first flyby. Land-based observation of Mercury is difficult due to its proximity to the Sun, so we must send probes to explore it. Future missions such as BepiColombo plan to give a greater amount of detail to our current maps of Mercury.

24. Mercury's greatest elongation from the Sun varies from?

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: 16 degrees to 27 degrees

This means that Mercury never rises or sets very far from the Sun. Mercury is rarely seen in totally dark skies, it almost always rises and sets in twilight. Elongation is the angular distance between the Sun and a planet in orbit around the Sun, as seen from Earth.

25. Despite Mercury's proximity to the Sun, it is not the hottest planet in the Solar System. What phenomenon is the reason for this?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Mercury has very little atmosphere

Mercury was thought to have no atmosphere, but Mariner 10 found that it does have an exosphere. This slight atmosphere is comprised of various elements like sodium and magnesium and traces of hydrogen and helium gasses. The energy released by the sun pushes these gases away from Mercury, creating a comet-like tail. During a mercury day, the surface facing the Sun can reach temperatures of over 400 degrees Celsius, while the dark side freezes to negative 170. The lack of atmosphere allows the heat to escape into space, thus cooling the planet slightly.

26. The Hubble Space Telescope has never been used to view the planet Mercury. Why not?

From Quiz Marvellous Mercury

Answer: It could permanently damage the telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that first entered orbit in 1990, and while it has observed some of the furthest away galaxies to ever be seen, it is unable to view Mercury, Venus or the Sun. The reason for this is that the rays of the Sun are so powerful that viewing it would likely cause irreparable damage to the Hubble Space Telescope. Moreover as Mercury and Venus are so close to the Sun, viewing either of these would have the same, catastrophic consequences, and so the Hubble Space Telescope is always pointed away from the Sun.

27. An area around the Petrach Crater on Mercury has a vastly different look from the rest of the planet. What name, proving scientists can be a bit offbeat, has been given to this very hilly place?

From Quiz Little Planet, Big Secrets

Answer: Weird Terrain

Also known as 'Chaotic Terrain' the area around the Petrach Crater is very hilly and lineated, whereas the rest of the planet looks much like our moon, with relatively flat craters. The Weird Terrain was first photographed by The Mariner 10 and its position found to be antipodal to the Caloris Basin. Since then, the hypothesis was that the impact of an asteroid caused shock waves to travel through Mercury's crust until they collided at the antipodal point, causing a violent uplifting of the crust into lineated hills. A recent scientific paper (published in 2020) has postulated that the terrain may instead be the result of the loss of volatile elements and compounds. This theory states that these crust compounds have a low boiling point, and the constant heating and cooling of the planet has caused them to deteriorate and escape. This has caused the surface to collapse into the lineated depressions.

28. Which layer of Mercury is the thickest in diameter?

From Quiz Mercury, the Water Star

Answer: Core

At about 1,800 kilometers in diamter, Mercury's core is the thickest part of it. Mercury has no inner and outer core, just one main section. This is due to the Sun blasting away parts of its crust and mantle.

29. Mercury is an ___________ planet (from the viewpoint of Earth).

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: Inferior

Planets closer to the Sun than Earth are called inferior planets while planets beyond the Earth are called superior planets.

30. What is it called when Mercury passes in front of the Sun when viewed from the Earth?

From Quiz Twenty Questions About Mercury

Answer: Transit

This always occurs at the time of inferior conjunction and this occurs about 13 times a century (for Mercury).

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