Ice Found on Mercury…But Sadly, No Life

, former deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy | November 29, 2012, 4:08 pm EDT
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NASA revealed new evidence that significant deposits of water ice can be found on Mercury’s poles in three papers published today in Science Express. In a press conference this afternoon, participating scientists said the ice in some parts could be as thick as twenty meters in places that are thermally stable.

More is here and here.

The MESSENGER spacecraft entered Mercury’s orbit in March 2011 and has collected significant amounts of data ever since. Check out photos and images from data collected by MESSENGER here.

The announcement is sure to spark conversation about whether it is viable for humans to colonize the planet closest to the sun. But if you think another announcement regarding life on Mercury is coming soon, think again.

“My gut feeling about life on Mercury is that it’s a resounding no,” NASA scientist Gregory Neumann told U.S. News and World Report. “The chemical processes just don’t operate on Mercury. If anything is going on there it’s beyond our realm of understanding.”

The photo below from 2011 is from the MESSENGER and shows the Debussy Crater.

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