It is impossible to say who discovered Mercury. No doubt it was seen by our cave-dwelling ancestors, and it was certainly familiar to the first great civilizations, notably those of China and Egypt. The Egyptians named it Thoth, after the wisest of their gods; he is usually depicted as a man with the head of an ibis, though occasionally he becomes a dogheaded baboon (take your pick!). The earliest definite record dates back to 15 November 265BC, when according to Ptolemy, last of the great Greek astronomers, the planet was one lunar diameter away from a line joining the two bright stars Delta and Beta Scorpii.
KeywordsLight Pollution Great Civilization Arab Translation Evening Star Morning Star
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