Discovery of the latent Ice Content in Mercury- one of the key research in Physics in contemporary times
A research conducted by the Brown University in the United States came up with the finding that Mercury holds the presence of more ice than thought about for generations.
Based on the data, extruded by the Messenger Probe of NASA, scientist explored 3 new craters, close to the North Pole of the planet, having the massive deposit of ice on the surface of Mercury.
In addition, the researchers discovered several tiny deposits along the same area, either in the forms of Craters or as shadowed areas.
This observation is definitely among the major research in Physics, ventured in contemporary times
The quest for water
Ariel Deutsch who is leading the observations published in the Geophysical Research Letters stated that it is assumed about the existence of ice on the surface of Mercury, majorly in the forms of large crates.
However, the research team explored that there has been the presence of the smaller deposits as well. Clubbing these tiny deposits with the gigantic ones, the volume of the total deposits rises by a significant count.
Deutsch in association with NASA’s Gregory Neumann, looked at the results as extruded by the laser altimeter Probe. The major application of this device involves the mapping of the elevation.
However, this device can record the reflectance of the surface that indicates the presence of ice on the surface of the planet, assisting the researchers to explore it.
An excerpt of the finding
The research team explored patches, smaller in sizes, compared with the deposits as craters, however, big enough for resolving with the help of altimeter. A total of 4 such deposits was found and each of these deposits measures slightly lesser than 5 KM in diameter.
However, the research team stated, “it is likely that there will be more of such deposits that could not be explored with the device used”. Deutsch stated that the sizes of these deposits will vary between a few Centimeters to a few KM.
The exact way for the Polar ice, making its way to the planet is still unexplored. The hypothesis that was recently conceived accounted for the fact that it probably happened under the impact of an asteroid or a comet, loaded with water.
As for an alternate theory, a gust of strong solar wind made the way for a volume of hydrogen to enter the surface of the planet and subsequently combining with the oxygen available in the planet, forming water.
Much of explorations and researches are still needed to come up with the final verdict in this regard. Nevertheless, the observations made to date is definitely crucial one and it will pave the way for further efforts in the days to come.