How Many Days Does It Take for Mercury to Orbit the Sun?

How Many Days Does It Take for Mercury to Orbit the Sun?

It takes Mercury 88 days to orbit the sun, in contrast to Earth, which takes 365 1/4 days. Early observers noticed how quickly it took to orbit, and so named the planet after the fleet-footed messenger of the gods.

Mercury orbits at a speed of about 30 miles a second, traveling a total of 36 million miles as it races around the sun. Mercury's orbit is also highly eccentric; at perihelion (or its closest approach to the sun), Mercury is at 29 million miles, but a aphelion (or farthest distance from the sun) it is at about 40 million miles. As it orbits the sun, Mercury only rotates about three times in 2 of its years, making for a very long day.