December 3, 2023

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Mercury is home to strange salt glaciers, and may host life beneath them

Mercury is home to strange salt glaciers, and may host life beneath them

Scientists have discovered that salty glaciers may exist on Mercury, the planet closest to the sun and the smallest planet in the solar system. This discovery could show that even the most variable conditions in the inner solar system may sometimes mirror conditions on Earth.

The team’s findings complement recent discoveries that revealed that Pluto contains glaciers of nitrogen. Since Pluto is on the far side of the solar system, the two discoveries indicate that glaciation extends from the hottest regions of the solar system, near the sun, to its frigid outer limits.