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July 5 2013

Mercury's Volcanic Facelift Belies Planet's True Age

Mercury is looking good for its age.

Even the oldest parts of the surface of the planet closest to the sun are only 4 billion to 4.1 billion years old, not 4.5 billion years old the age at which the planet formed, a new study finds.

"If the oldest surface visible on Mercury is 4 billion or 4.1 billion years old, then that would imply that the first perhaps 500 million or 400 million years of the planet have been erased."

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