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Time for One Rotation About its Axis

Mercury rotates about its axis as it travels in its orbit about the Sun. The time for one complete rotation is about 59 Earth days – exactly 2/3 of the time it takes for Mercury to complete one orbit around the Sun.

A Day on Mercury animation screenshot

Take a look at the "Orbit Rotation" animation to see these motions together. Click on the image above

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Each planet spins on its axis at its own speed. Earth takes 23 hours and 56 minutes to rotate once on its axis. Jupiter has the fastest rotational rate taking only 9.9 hours to rotate once, whereas Venus has the slowest, needing over 243 Earth days for one rotation.