It has been confirmed NASA's Messenger Spacecraft has discovered over 1 billions tons of ice on the Northern Pole of Mercury. This is a monumental discovery due to the fact Mercury is the Solar System's closest planet to the Sun. It had been suspected since as early as 1992 that the planet may contain traces of water. NASA was surprised to learn the abundance of ice and organic material similar to the building blocks of life on Earth. This discovery has been a major shock to the scientific community and may change our understanding of the development of life.
Previously, in 1992, NASA had received images that could point to the existence of ice on Mercury. Finally, their hypothesis was confirmed but NASA had not fathomed the magnitude of water found or the existence of organic material. Armed with a Neuron Spectrometer the Messenger was able to detect water ice on the dark side of the planet. The discovery was made public in the Nov. 29 edition of Science Magazine. NASA plans to send an additional craft out to investigate further.
The implications this discovery has on the origins of life on Earth are phenomenal due to the discovery of a layer organic material found around the ice. This material would be similar to the building blocks found on Earth which led to the creation of life. Furthermore, the fact that such ice could be preserved on a planet as hot and as close to our Sun as Mercury is also astounding. The angle of the planet is what has kept the ice fields intact due to the planets north pole never being exposed to the Sun's heat and radiation. Likely the organic matter is non-living due to the lack of an atmosphere on the planet but a mere few days ago the concept of ice on Mercury would have seemed far-fetched so I will defer my judgement.
We here at Geeked Out find this discovery to be absolutely amazing and look forward to learning more about those organic materials housed on the planet. We also welcome any thoughts or comments about this news. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section bellow.