Report

Thermal Stability of Volatiles in the North Polar Region of Mercury

Science  29 Nov 2012:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1231106

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

Thermal models for the north polar region of Mercury, calculated from topographic measurements made by the MESSENGER spacecraft, show that the spatial distribution of regions of high radar backscatter is well matched by the predicted distribution of thermally stable water ice. MESSENGER measurements of near-infrared surface reflectance indicate bright surfaces in the coldest areas where water ice is predicted to be stable at the surface, and dark surfaces within and surrounding warmer areas where water ice is predicted to be stable only in the near subsurface. We propose that the dark surface layer is a sublimation lag deposit that may be rich in impact-derived organic material.

View Full Text

Related Content