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NASA confirms ice and organic material lurk in the darkness on Mercury




New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide compelling support for the long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed polar craters. 

Three independent lines of evidence support this conclusion: the first measurements of excess hydrogen at Mercury's north pole with MESSENGER's Neutron Spectrometer, the first measurements of the reflectance of Mercury's polar deposits at near-infrared wavelengths with the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), and the first detailed models of the surface and near-surface temperatures of Mercury's north polar regions that utilize the actual topography of Mercury's surface measured by the MLA. These findings are presented in three papers published online today in Science Express

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