Based on data obtained by the MESSENGER spacecraft, NASA confirmed that Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, has water on its surface. And what to come surprise next is, this is not a small amount. According to the NASA, the planet has an abundant amount of ice and other frozen volatiles in polar craters. Despite the proximity to the sun and high temperatures recorded on the surface, the polar regions of Mercury didn't ever get sunlight yet because of the tilt of its axis of rotation, which has an angle of only 1 degree.
- Sean Solomon, Principal investigator of the MESSENGER mission.
Interestingly, besides the incredible confirmation that water exists on Mercury, NASA scientists also observed that ice found in polar craters is covered by a layer of darker material. This cover keeps the ice in thermal insulation and prevents it from becoming unstable.
However, the most surprising is that NASA believes this darker layer is a complex mixture of organic materials. Such compounds would be similar to those that gave life on Earth and probably reached at the surface of Mercury due to the collision of comets and asteroids.