Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Could Mercury have once supported life ?

Posted on Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 | Comment icon 0 comments

Mercury may seem inhospitable, but was it always that way ? Image Credit: NASA/JHU/APL
According to a new study, the nearest planet to the Sun may have once been a lot more habitable.
With temperatures ranging from an unimaginably freezing -173C during the night to a blisteringly hot 427C during the day across its equatorial regions, Mercury, which completes one orbit of the Sun every 87.97 days, is certainly not the first place you would typically think of when it comes to seeking out habitable environments within our own solar system.

Now however, a new study has revealed that Mercury's "chaotic" cracked and cratered landscape, which had long been thought to be the result of an ancient asteroid impact, may have been formed by volatiles - compounds and elements capable of jumping from one state to another (such as water) that are essential to life here on Earth.

Using data from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, scientists were able to date the terrain on Mercury's surface as well as the Caloris basin - the impact crater left behind by the asteroid.

"A key to the discovery was the finding that the development of the chaotic terrains persisted until approximately 1.8 billion years ago, 2 billion years after the Caloris basin formed," said study co-author Daniel Berman from the Planetary Science Institute.
The researchers also noted that parts of the surface had seemingly dropped, as though something underneath had given way. This led them to the conclusion that volatiles beneath the planet's surface may have been heated by lava and turned to gas, causing the surface to crack and collapse.

They also believe that water could have once formed just beneath the surface.

If life ever did emerge on Mercury in the past however, it will be long gone by now.

Source: Space.com | Comments (0)

Tags: Mercury

Recent comments on this story

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Cops bust man who was 'teaching dog to drive'
No, teaching your dog how to drive a car is not an appropriate use of your time during self-isolation.
Turkey Mountain 'Bigfoot' caught on camera
Visitors to the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area have been reporting sightings of a strange creature.
Three new pterosaurs discovered in the Sahara
Scientists have unearthed the fossil remains of three new species of prehistoric winged reptile in Morocco.
Gorillas may also be susceptible to coronavirus
Researchers have warned that COVID-19 may pose a serious risk to endangered gorilla populations in Africa.
Stories & Experiences
In over my head
3-3-2020 | CA
Stranger at night
3-3-2020 | Merritt Island, FL, U.S.
The babysitter
2-8-2020 | ON
Mystery brain surgery and JFK
2-7-2020 | Toronto Ontario Canada
I keep bringing spirits home
2-7-2020 | Michigan
Dog and Jamaican statue
1-10-2020 | Canada
Life changing experience
12-19-2019 | Australia
Unexplained smoke or fog
12-19-2019 | West Texas, USA

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ