When Was Mercury Discovered?


Quick Answer

The planet Mercury was first observed by Sumerians, a group of people who lived in Mesopotamia from 3,500 B.C. to 2,000 B.C. Sumerians called the planet Enki.

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Full Answer

Mercury is one of five planets that can be seen in the night sky with the naked eye. It is possible that people predating the Sumerians observed Mercury and the other visible planets: Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Later Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Indian and other astronomers were aware of Mercury's existence. In 2006, the Antikythera Mechanism, a mysterious machine from Ancient Greece, accurately predicted the future positions of the sun, moon, Mercury and other visible planets.

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