Thursday, October 16, 2014

Article: Mercury's hidden water-ice revealed

At Mercury's north pole, there are craters containing water-ice.
After the Messenger probe entered orbit around the planet in March 2011, it deployed a range of techniques to show that there are probably several billion tonnes of water ice locked up at the north pole.
There is contradictory evidence that the ice arrived recently and that is has been there a long time.
In the latest study, Dr Nancy Chabot and colleagues studied an impact crater called Prokofiev, the largest such depression at the planet's north pole. 
The uniform surface texture of presumed water-ice areas in Prokofiev crater suggest the deposits arrived relatively recently. 
If we wanted to colonize Mercury, or at least it's poles, this is good news.

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