Home Science Volcano: What would eruptions look like on asteroids? 'Metallic volcanism' explained

Volcano: What would eruptions look like on asteroids? 'Metallic volcanism' explained

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Metallic lava flowed 10 times faster than what we’re used to on Earth, and it spread far more thinly, the scientists revealed.

The metal lava would also travel underneath any rock flow, and would break out into a number of different channels towards the edges.

Smooth metallic lava would leave a very different impression on the planet’s surface, compared with Earth’s thick, rough lava flows.

“If there were volcanoes on 16 Psyche – or on another metallic body – they definitely wouldn’t look like the steep-sided Mt. Fuji, an iconic terrestrial volcano,” said Soldati.

“Instead, they would probably have gentle slopes and broad cones. That’s how an iron volcano would be built – thin flows that expand over longer distances.”



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