Water Ice at Mercury’s Poles

A NASA spacecraft called Messenger in the last week of March 2012 discovered further evidence for the existence of water ice at Mercury’s Poles.


NASA previous work revealed patches near Mercury’s poles that strongly reflect radar – a characteristic of ice. The Messenger probe has shown that these radar-bright patched line up precisely with the shadowed craters.

Messenger is only the second spacecraft, after Mariner 10 in the 1970s, to have visited the Mercury, which is the innermost planet in Solar system. Until Messenger arrived, large swathes of Mercury’s surface was never mapped.