Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and the eighth largest.Mercury has been visited by only one spacecraft, Mariner 10. It flew by three times in 1974 and 1975. Only 45% of thesurface was mapped. Until 1962 it was thought that Mercury's "day" was the same length as its "year" so as to keep that same face to the Sun much as the Moon does to the Earth. But this was shown to be false in 1965 by doppler radar observations. It is now known that Mercury rotates three times in two of its years. Mercury is the only body in the solar system known to have an orbital/rotational resonance with a ratio other than 1:1.
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