NASA Confirms Ice at Mercury's Pole

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dangoball:
SCIENCE!

Actually, I understood most of that mumbo-jumbo. College wasn't wasted on me. However, the guy ahead of you said that the poles were 100C (212F). Space, that is the general temperature of space, is suppose to be somewhere in the neighborhood of about -273F. So, you see, the freezing...isn't happening. And now, I'm trying to get him to elaborate on how non-freezing levels of heat still have ice on the planet closest to the ever-loving sun. Perhaps you'd also like a shot?

FalloutJack:

albino boo:
Huh?

Okay, of all the answers I've received, yours is the one that confuses me. You have told me that the pole temperature of Mercury...is well above the temperature by which water freezes. (100C = 212F) This is a far cry from the permafrost-covered landscape of Antarctica. I'm afraid I still don't follow. I mean, if that's the lowest temperature to be found on Mercury's poles, WHY is there ice there? Nevermind water for a sec. The poles are not at freezing temperatures if what you're saying is true. Help me out with this one.

The maximum temperature in full sunlight is 100C, the temperature inside the craters out of direct sunlight is -200C. The rock walls of the craters are only being heated up to 100C. The article suggests there maybe up to 1 billion tons of ice, so the heating effect on solid rock from the sun is never going to be enough to melt the ice. Hence my analogy about mineshafts and icebergs.

Isn't that a picture of the moon in this article?

Trying to delete my own comment. Doesn't seem to work.

See, mercurys aint that different, now all we need is a good old fashioned 50s rocket to visit the alines living there....

CardinalPiggles:
I reckon we should grab a ton of space water and give it to Africa or something, what's the worse that can happen?

Nothing, merely an alien life form frozen in ice being avakened taking over the bodies of the africans that drink the water and contrling thier minds making sure they populate like rabbits and go on violent rampages killing eachother. oh wait, that already happens. yeah, nothing would change.

I've noticed a lot of stressing over how the water remains frozen during Mercury's day (assertions such as 'Mercury must have a very cold night' spring to mind).

Mercury is almost tidally locked to the Sun, which means there are parts of its surface that are always 'dark'. Anything frozen there will basically remain frozen until the Sun starts to die/Mercury gets hit by an asteroid/the 1% chance that Mercury will collide with Venus in the next 5billion years happens.

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