The USA Mariner 10 spacecraft encountered Mercury three times in 1974-1975. The 1st and 3rd encounters provided detailed observations of a well developed, detached bow shock wave which results from the interaction of the solar wind. The planet possesses a global magnetic field, and modest magnetosphere, which deflects the solar wind. The field is approximately dipolar, with orientation in the same sense as Earth, tilted 12° from the rotation axis. The magnetic moment, 5×1022 Gauss-cm3, corresponds to an undistorted equatorial field intensity of 350γ, approximately 1% of Earth’s. The origin of the field, while unequivocally intrinsic to the planet, is uncertain. It may be due to remanent magnetization acquired from an extinct dynamo or a primordial magnetic field or due to a presently active dynamo. Among these possibilities, the latter appears more plausible at present. In any case, the existence of the magnetic field provides very strong evidence of a mature, differentiated planetary interior with a large core, Rc ≈ 0.7RM, and a record of the history of planetary formation in the magnetization of the crustal rocks.