bears very similar characteristics to the Moon at first glance.
It has no effective atmosphere, it is rocky and it is of similar
size. It's location however - close to the Sun - means it
is bathed in radiation and is "tidally locked" so that the same
face always points towards the Sun. This means that the
face towards the Sun is baked at temperatures close to four times
boiling point, while the face in shadow is close to the cold of
space - towards absolute zero. The cratered surface of Mercury
reveals that little activity has taken place - chemical, geological
or atmospheric - for billions of years. Mercury is all but
inert. There is and never was any possibility of life starting
on Mercury, but life could have been transported there by interstellar
debris - comets etc. Survival would be tenuous and even
if life survived somehow, it is would almost certainly be in a
stasis condition, through cold or lack of accessible nutrients.
All images NASA, unless shown