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Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Science |

NASA finds water ice on Mercury

NASA finds water ice on Mercury


A normal day in Ecuador can reach temperatures above 400° C. Still, do not rule out that the poles of the planet closest to the sun may have ice, and a new analysis of data collected by the probe confirmed this. There are some frozen in craters at the poles, said NASA .

Given its proximity to the sun, it’s weird to think that Mercury may have ice. However, the inclination of the axis of rotation of the planet is less than one degree, so that there are reliefs on the planet who are always in the shade. The idea that there could be frozen materials had been proposed by scientists for years, and the hypothesis that water could have been reinforced in 1991 when a radio telescope detected unusually bright areas on the planet, reflecting radio waves in the form you would ice.

However, there are other materials that can reflect waves, so that no confirmation. The probe Messenger arrived at Mercury last year, and orbiting about the highlights, confirmed that they are in areas that are shaded and using neutron spectroscopy revealed that water had frozen in the North Pole.

The on the surface ice in craters, while in other deposits is buried under an “unusual dark material,” said NASA, in areas where temperatures are slightly higher to keep the water frozen.

According to investigators, the dark material would be a mixture of organic compounds that have reached Mercury on comets and asteroids, these objects would have transported water to the craters. The organic material may have darkened more due to radiation, affecting even areas that are shaded. Anyway, this dark material adds a new edge to Mercury Research.

Link: Messenger Finds New Evidence for water ice at Mercury’s poles (NASA)

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