The First Stone From The Sun Harbors Ice, NASA Says

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (November 29, 2012)--A NASA spacecraft has confirmed there's ice at Mercury's north pole, scientists announced Thursday.

They said the orbiting probe, Messenger, has found evidence of frozen water, even though Mercury is the closest planet to the sun.

The ice located in the permanently shadowed region of Mercury's north pole and it’s thought to be at least one-and-a-half feet deep - and possibly as much as 65 feet deep.

Scientists say it's likely that Mercury's south pole also has ice, though there are no data to support it.

Messenger orbits much closer to the north pole than to the south.

Radar measurements, for years, have suggested the presence of ice.

Now scientists know for a fact.

Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. It was launched in 2004.


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