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Space Porn

Mercury: the “boring” planet starts to get some respect.

… and then there’s Mercury. For years, the study of astronomy among school-aged children has settled on the fact that Mercury is just the rock near the middle of our Solar System. Real hot on one side, real cold on the other. That’s it. But @NASA launched orbiter Messenger to see what else there was to see on the diminutive first planet and the results are surprising scientists.

Lava flows seven times the size of Texas cover six percent of the surface, which is evidence that large-scale volcanic activity formed the planet at one time. Volcanic activity is typically associated with more dynamic, living planets. Also, the chemical makeup of the planet is not quite like any other planet in the solar system, which scientists believe is a result of being so close to the Sun.

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