Wu-Tang Clan rapper Method Man once said the following about fellow member Inspectah Deck: “He’s like that dude thatta sit back and watch you play yourself … and see you sit and know you lyin’, and he’ll take you to court after that.”
The same can probably be said of Mercury, the best planet in the solar system (other than Earth).
Mercury puts up with more crap than anyone else, so I stayed quiet while others incorrectly suggested that Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus were any better. Few pay any attention to it: Astronomers researching the tiny rock often see their results smothered by the hype surrounding far lamer bodies like Pluto and Europa. And Mercury fans have to put up with shade like this quote from Ross Andersen: “Tiny thing, Sun-blasted and crater-pocked, more moon than planet.” But Mercury’s been the best planet all along. You just haven’t been paying any attention.
I get it. Mercury looks straight-up ragged. It lacks a real atmosphere, so there’s nothing preventing asteroids from hitting the surface, and the planet has billions of years worth of craters to show for it. Its only shield is a so-called exosphere, a thin layer of atoms kicked up by the constant onslaught of radiation from the nearby Sun. Mercury was raised in the solar system’s toughest neighborhood. Its temperature swings 600 degrees Celsius from day to night, negative-170 to positive-430 degrees.