Lava ocean may have flowed on Mercury’s surface billions of years ago

Mercury (NASA)

A recent experiment conducted by MIT researchers has led some experts to believe an ocean of lava may have been flowing on Mercury’s surface some four billion years ago. The finding came as scientists feverishly analyzed data from NASA’s Messenger probe, which has given them some of the best insight into Mercury’s composition. The presence of two vastly different types of rock on the planet was a curious discovery, and led the MIT team to create an experiment that would hopefully point to a geographical process responsible for the disparity. Researchers recreated the rocks in a lab and exposed both to a variety of temperatures and pressures. “You can tell what would happen as the melt cools and crystals form and change the chemical…

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