They came from Mercury…

Mercurian meteorite

Astrobods have found several dozen meteorites from Mars and the Moon that have made their way to Earth over the years. These rocks were launched during major impacts there.

It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a meteorite from Venus arrive on Earth: the Venusian atmosphere is just too thick. But what of Mercury?

According to Brett Gladman from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Mercurian meteorites may be an order of magnitude more common on Earth than we thought.

He and a pal say Mercury is the only planet where impact speeds are routinely 5 to 20 times greater than the escape speed.

So they calculated the percentage of rock likely to escape from Mercury towards Earth after an impact. It turns out that up to 5% of rocks leaving Mercury with speeds greater than 9 km per second could reach Earth within 30 million years.

So Mercurian meteorites probably arrive here at about half the rate of rocks from Mars.

That means that somewhere on Earth, in somebody’s meteorite collection there lies a little bit of Mercury. Get looking!

Ref: Mercurian Impact Ejecta: Meteorites and Mantle

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