Physics Phriday: Ice on Mercury?

Scientists think that the MESSENGER probe that is orbiting Mercury has found water ice at the poles.  This is surprising because Mercury is only 0.38 AU from the Sun. (Recall that 1 AU is how far the Earth is from the Sun)  However, there are some parts of the planet that are always in the shade (like the bottoms of some craters).  The surface temperature can range from 100 Kelvin at night to 700 Kelvin during the day.

MESSENGER Probe

The MESSENGER probe orbiting Mercury.

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