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We just discovered ice on the last planet you'd expect

We just discovered ice on the last planet you'd expect
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Which planet in our solar system do you think would be the least likely to have frozen water? You'd think it would be Mercury, right? After all, it's barren, rocky and it's the closest planet to the sun. It has no atmosphere to protect it from the harsh radiation of our home star. But that's exactly the planet where scientists have just discovered ice.

New pictures from the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury show compelling evidence that there is in fact ice on the surface. The bright, yellow-outlined portions show where radar reflections from the MESSENGER probe were brighter than the rest of the planet. That indicates ice.

Mercury Ice

Next page: How could ice possibly survive on Mercury?
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