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Best views yet of Mercury's ice-filled craters

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posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 04:03 PM
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New pictures have been released from Nasa's Mercury Messenger spacecraft of shadowed craters at Mercury's north pole which have given Messenger's scientists the best views yet of Mercury's sun shaded craters.


"We're seeing into these craters that don't see the Sun, at higher resolution than was ever possible before," Dr Nancy Chabot, the instrument scientist for Messenger's Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), told a news conference.
Dr Chabot was speaking at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in The Woodlands, Texas.



Comets smashing into Mercury's surface probably brought both the ice and the dark, carbon-rich (organic) material that Messenger sees in these polar cold traps.

Carbon-rich organic material ? , we call them aliens where I come from



In the coldest of these craters, the researchers see mostly ice, which probably has the organic material within it as a small component.
But in those polar craters that get more sunlight, surface ice disappears, forming a concentrated layer of organic compounds that overlies and protects older ice deposits beneath.

These dark organic layers have sharp boundaries, which suggest the deposits are young. Otherwise, said Dr Chabot, the boundaries would have been disrupted by small meteorite impacts.
www.bbc.co.uk...


This cool picture shows the temperature differences of the region with the purple areas representing temperatures as low as -223C and the red at a balmy 125C .... Mmmmm , sunshine.



edit on 17-3-2015 by gortex because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 04:14 PM
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originally posted by: gortex
Carbon-rich organic material ? , we call them aliens where I come from


Organic ≠ life.

Awesome photos, though.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 04:16 PM
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Cool find! I love reading about this stuff, especially since we can now actually see the beauty of it in high res.
And according to official definitions of organic..

of, relating to, or derived from living matter.

I guess i would call it sorta alien too lol


edit on 17-3-2015 by iFloButta because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 04:18 PM
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I was recently surprised, on viewing a video on a thread talking about how long it takes light to reach the outer planets, that Mercury is much further away from the sun than I thought, about half way between the sun and Venus. This thread shows that the distance from the sun makes for some very cold nights and shadows.



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 01:22 AM
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originally posted by: iFloButta
And according to official definitions of organic..

of, relating to, or derived from living matter.
You mention "definitions" as plural but you don't mention the multiple definitions, that's one. Another is "of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds" which merely overlaps with living things which contain carbon compounds, but there are also carbon compounds that form in the absence of life.

In the context of Mercury, I think it's reasonable to presume the context of organic infers carbon compounds, and not "derived from living matter", though that could be the definition in a different context.




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