Mercury — the Blue Planet?

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Those muppets may have created “PIGS IN SPACE,” but the planet Mercury may turn out to be the home of “Smurfs In Space.”

The latest NASA flyby to our solar system’s closest planet to the sun has revealed that the tiny orb, once thought to be nothing more than a large rock and impact point for meteors and other space debris, is really a very active volcanic planet that is covered by a thick blanket of “mysterious dark blue material” that is ejected from the volcanoes. The blue stuff has scientists stymied

The new images received by NASA come from its Messenger space probe (named for the Greek Messenger God Mercury) and it is hoped that this new information will help settle an age-old debate among space scientists about why some of the planet’s surface appears so much smoother than other sections. One particuar image revealed giant craters, some the size of major U.S. cities, filled in with the blue material and other dust debris. Right now scientists believe it could be some kind of cooled lava at least 4 billion years old. One researcher was quick to point out that the blue material is spread across the entire planet. While it was seen in limited detail in probes sent in the 70′s and early 90′s, this is the first time the blue mystery dust has been seen so extensively and clearly. The actual color of the stuff may be a much lighter blue since the human eye sees it as a very dark blue due to the infrared camera effect.

What was once considered a boring planet by researchers is now looking a lot more interesting and gives scientists cause to want to send more probes and possibley landers there in the future.

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