Water ice discovered on Mercury
Last Updated: 171 days ago
Confirming decades of suspicion, a NASA spacecraft has spotted vast deposits of water ice on the planet closest to the sun. Temperatures on Mercury can reach 800 degress Fahrenheit, but around the north pole, in areas permanently shielded from the sun's heat, NASA's Messenger spacecraft has found a mix of frozen water and possible organic materials. Researchers also believe the south pole has ice, but Messenger’s orbit has not allowed them to obtain extensive measurements of that region yet. Messenger will spiral closer to the planet in 2014 and 2015 as it runs out of fuel and is perturbed by the sun’s and Mercury’s gravity. This will let researchers peer closer at the water ice as they figure out how much is there.
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