There Is Over 100 Billion Tons Of Ice On Mercury

Posted Nov 30, 2012

NASA scientists have found that Mercury has over 100 billion tons of ice, which is surprising because the planet hits over 800-degrees Fahrenheit near it’s equator.  There has been speculation that the planet craters had ice near the planet’s poles.

David Lawrence, a senior scientist at John Hopkin’s Applied Physics Laboratory, said ?In these planetary bodies, there are hidden places, as it were, that can have interesting things going on.?  Lawrence referred to the craters near Mercury’s poles.  Because of the position of these poles, they do not get any sunlight.  Since there is no sunlight, the temperature there is at -370 degrees Fahrenheit.

Researchers found out that there was ice on Mercury instead of a reflective substance like sulfur by using the same method that was used to find ice on Mars and on the Moon.  They counted neutrons originating from the planet, which decreased as Messenger moved over the icy spots.  This indicates the presence of frozen water.

These areas can possibly be a landing spot and as a source of water for future colonies placed in locations in Mercury where the temperatures are not as extreme stated geology professor UCLA David Paige.  “People joke about it, but it?s not so crazy, really.”