NASA: Closest planet to sun, Mercury, harbors ice - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

NASA: Closest planet to sun, Mercury, harbors ice


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WKOW) -- NASA says Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, has ice at the planet's north pole.

Scientists announced Thursday that the orbiting probe, Messenger, has found evidence of frozen water. The ice is located in the permanently shadowed region of Mercury's north pole. It's thought to be at least one-and-a-half feet deep, and possibly as much as 65 feet deep.

Scientists say it's likely Mercury's south pole also has ice; however, there is no data to support it because Messenger orbits much closer to the north pole than the south.

For years, Radar measurements have suggested the presence of ice, but now scientists know for a fact.

Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. It was launched in 2004.

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