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Researchers model glaciation on Mercury's poles

Researchers model glaciation on Mercury's poles

Science
Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Mercury's poles are marked by large craters. Icy deposits hide inside. Now, scientists think they know how the ice got there. Researchers at the University of Maine modeled the glaciation process on the planet closest to the sun. Most of Mercury is rather hot. But a few of its polar craters remain in permanent shadow, allowing for temperature low enough to sustain ice deposits. The glaciers are thought to be less than 50 million years old and 165-feet thick in some places. Scientists used data collected by Earth-based radar to characterize the shape, thickness and distribution of Mercury's polar ice. Mercury has no atmosphere that could generate snow or ice deposits. The simulations designed by the University of Maine research team showed a comet impact was the most likel...