Mercury's Surface Blackened By Billions Of Years Of Falling Comet Dust

March 31, 2015 10:32 AM

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Mercury's Surface Blackened By Billions Of Years Of Falling Comet Dust

Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, is apparently also the dirtiest. According to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Mercury’s surface is constantly bombarded by a steady stream of carbon from passing comets, a phenomenon that answers a longstanding question -- why does the planet’s surface reflect so little sunlight?

“It appears that Mercury may well be a painted planet,” Peter Schultz, a professor of geological sciences at Brown University and a co-author of the paper, said, in a statement.

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