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In scientific terms, an orbital revolution is the amount of time it takes for one object to orbit completely around another. So a Mercury revolution is the amount of time it takes for Mercury to completely orbit the Sun and then come back to its initial position. Here on Earth, we call that a year.
Mercury’s revolution around the Sun takes 87.969 days. So, you could say that Mercury’s year lasts almost 88 days.
But if you were standing on the surface of Mercury, you wouldn’t experience that many days. That’s because Mercury rotates on its axis very slowly, taking almost 59 days to rotate once. The strange thing is that if you were standing on the surface of Mercury, you would experience something very different. You would see the sun rise halfway, and then go back down again, and then rise up again before setting. The whole process would take about 2 of Mercury’s years.
Remember, the revolution of Mercury is how long the planet takes to travel around the Sun. The rotation of Mercury is how long it takes to turn once on its axis.
We’ve also recorded several episodes of Astronomy Cast about the Solar System. Listen here, Episode 49: Mercury.