Planet Mercury Once Contained Magma Ocean: Study

Geo Beats
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Scientists believe Mercury once contained a magma ocean.

While Mars is grabbing all the media attention these days thanks to Curiosity, that doesn't make other planets in our solar system any less interesting.

Researchers from MIT have concluded that Mercury, the planet closest to the sun may have contained an ocean of magma about 4 billion years ago.

The scientists examined data that was collected by the NASA Messenger spacecraft, which is on a long term mission to study Mercury. . Surprisingly, the surface area of the planet is comprised of two very different rock formations.

Fascinated, the researchers launched experiments subjecting the varying rock compositions to diverse pressures and temperatures. They came to the conclusion that the only way the planet could contain those types of rock material was to have once contained a large flowing mass of magma residing on the surface.

As exciting as new data on Mercury is, it probably doesn't compare with the update from the Mars rover Curiosity.New images taken by Curiosity have confirmed that the robot has been able to successfully collect rock substance from Mars.

A drill systems engineer for Curiosity states “Many of us have been working toward this day for years. Getting final confirmation of successful drilling is incredibly gratifying”.

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