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Waspie_Dwarf

Mercury May Have Had an Ancient Magma Ocean

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Mercury May Have Harbored an Ancient Magma Ocean

Massive Lava Flows May Have Given Rise to Two Distinct Rock Types

By analyzing Mercury’s rocky surface, scientists have been able to partially reconstruct the planet’s history over billions of years. Now, drawing upon the chemical composition of rock features on the planet’s surface, scientists at MIT have proposed that Mercury may have harbored a large, roiling ocean of magma very early in its history, shortly after its formation about 4.5 billion years ago.

The scientists analyzed data gathered by MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging), a NASA probe that has orbited the planet since March 2011. Later that year, a group of scientists analyzed X-ray fluorescence data from the probe, and identified two distinct compositions of rocks on the planet’s surface. The discovery unearthed a planetary puzzle: What geological processes could have given rise to such distinct surface compositions?

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Perhaps Mercury was once the core of a larger planet that suffered some catastrophe early in life of Solar system and had it's mantle ripped off. Not sure how this would occur, though I would think by some very close encounter with a much larger body. Perhaps if mercury was still very young it was not fully stabilised and gravity of larger body ripped away mantle?

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