NASA Finds Water On Mercury From Analysis Of Data Sent Via Spacecraft MESSENGER [News]

Based on data obtained by the MESSENGER spacecraft, NASA confirmed that Mercury, the closest planet ...

NASA-Finds-Water-On-Mercury-From-Analysis-Of-Data-Sent-Via-Spacecraft-MESSENGER-[News]-(1)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.


But the new observations have also raised new questions, do the dark materials in the polar deposits consist mostly of organic compounds? What kind of chemical reactions has that material experienced? Are there any regions on or within Mercury that might have both liquid water and organic compounds? Only with the continued exploration of Mercury can we hope to make progress on these new questions.”
- Sean Solomon, Principal investigator of the MESSENGER mission.

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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.

NASA-Finds-Water-On-Mercury-From-Analysis-Of-Data-Sent-Via-Spacecraft-MESSENGER-[News]-(2)

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.

[Source: NASA]

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