Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Video Reveals How Ice Could Exist on Mercury — PICTURES Video Reveals How Ice Could Exist on Mercury — PICTURES

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Tech / SPACE

Video Reveals How Ice Could Exist on Mercury — PICTURES

photo of Kenneth Chamberlain
December 3, 2012

The last place you would except water, much less ice, to exist is on the surface of Mercury. But as NASA announced last week, there's abundant evidence that water ice exists on the planet nearest to the sun, based on data from the Messenger spacecraft, which is orbiting the planet.

The ice can remain frozen because there are portions of the planet that never see the light of day, particularly some areas deep within craters, as seen in the NASA video above.

"Parts of Prokofiev crater (center) and Kandinsky crater (upper left side of Prokofiev) stay in darkness, making it possible for ice to persist on the surface," according to the NASA website.

Below are some photos taken of Mercury by Messenger.

Shown in red are areas of Mercury’s north polar region that are in shadow in all images acquired by the Messenger spacecraft to date. The polar deposits imaged by Earth-based radar are in yellow.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center)

Mercury forms a beautiful crescent shape in this image, acquired as the Messenger spacecraft was high above Mercury's southern hemisphere on May 24, 2011.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

This image shows an area of Mercury’s surface taken from an altitude of 280 miles above the planet during the Messenger spacecraft’s first orbit with the camera in operation in 2011.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

 

The bright rays of Hokusai crater can be seen crossing the surface of Mercury from north to south. This color image also highlights some of the subtle color variations observed on the planet.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

As NASA’s Messenger spacecraft drew closer to Mercury for its historic first flyby, the spacecraft acquired this image in 2011 showing a variety of surface textures, including smooth plains at the center of the image, numerous impact craters, and rough material that appears to have been ejected from the large crater to the lower right.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

An unnamed basin, largely filled with smooth plains, occupies most of this image from Messenger.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

 

The largest crater in this scene, located in the upper left portion of the image, is Belinskij, named for the Russian literary critic and journalist Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinskij (1811-1848).(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

This 2011 image is shown in a polar stereographic projection, with the south pole at the center, 0° longitude at the top, and 90° E longitude to the right.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

This 2011 image shows March crater, named for the 15th century Valencian poet Ausiàs March.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

 

This image shows a close-up of an unnamed crater on Mercury in 2011.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

At a diameter of 62 miles, the crater Atget is one of the largest within the Caloris basin of Mercury.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Job Board
Search Jobs
City Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Avondale, AZ
Structural Engineer Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, IA
Urban Infrastructure Group Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Vancouver, BC
Senior Electrical Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | OK
Senior Specialist, Business Process Excellence
American Society of Civil Engineers | St. Joseph, MO
Bridge Engineering Design Technician - Denver, CO
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Fire Sprinkler Designer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tarboro, NC
Senior Specialist, Business Process Excellence
American Society of Civil Engineers | Fort Dodge, IA
Aerospace Quality Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Deer Park, NY
Conveyor - Project Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Engineer/Utility Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Monrovia, CA
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: NATURAL SYSTEMS MODELING
American Society of Civil Engineers | Baton Rouge, LA
Research Associate
American Society of Civil Engineers | Piscataway Township, NJ
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus