By Amira Shehata
Friday, December 8, 2023 01:00 AM
Scientists revealed that Mercury’s North Pole A new study by the Institute for Planetary Research suggests that life may exist within the salty glaciers hidden beneath the surface of an uninhabitable planet, which may have the right conditions to support some type of alien.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, researchers say that despite the harsh conditions, there are similar regions on Earth.
Dr. Alexis Rodriguez, principal investigator of the study, said: “This thought leads us to consider the possibility that beneath the surface of Mercury there are regions more suitable for life than its hard surface.”
Using images from NASA’s MESSENGER probe, the researchers studied the geology of Mercury’s north pole, where researchers found evidence that salt glaciers may have flowed through the planet’s Raditladi and Eminescu craters.
But these glaciers are not like the ones we know on Earth, and instead of ice, Mercury’s glaciers are made of salts that trap volatile compounds like water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
When Mercury collided with space rocks, craters blasted through the basalt rock’s outer layer, allowing these volatile compounds to escape from Earth and form glaciers. As the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury reaches temperatures of 806 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius). ) during the day, meaning that these volatile chemicals have evaporated.
However, scientists were able to locate the glaciers by looking for recognizable features of the Earth.
Dr Rodrigues said: “Our models strongly confirm that salt flow could have formed these glaciers and that they retained their volatiles for more than a billion years after emplacement.”
Mercury may have a large layer of salt beneath its surface, hidden from the Sun’s intense heat and rich in volatile compounds that could support life.
Dr. Rodriguez points out that similar habitats are capable of supporting life on Earth, “The salt compounds identified on Earth create a habitable environment even in some extreme environments, such as the arid Atacama Desert in Chile.”