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NASA have just announced that they believe they have discovered ice in Mercury's polar craters.


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Literally, just now! :D


Talk about a land of fire and ice. The surface of Mercury is hot enough in some places to melt lead, but it is a winter wonderland at its poles — with perhaps a trillion tonnes of water ice trapped inside craters — enough to fill 20 billion Olympic skating rinks.

The ice — whose long-suspected presence1 has now been confirmed by NASA's orbiting MESSENGER probe — seems to be much purer than ice inside similar craters on Earth's Moon, suggesting that the closest planet to the Sun could be a better trap for icy materials delivered by comets and asteroids.

Three papers detailing the findings are published today in Science2, 3, 4.

Live broadcast here: http://blogs.discovery.com/inscider/2012/11/nasa-mercury-announcement.html

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