Closest planet to sun, Mercury, harbors ice!

It’s time to add Mercury to the list of worlds where you can go ice-skating. Confirming decades of suspicion, a NASA spacecraft has spotted vast deposits of water ice on the planet closest to the sun. A Nasa spacecraft has confirmed there’s ice at Mercury’s north pole. Scientists announced on Thursday that the orbiting probe, Messenger, has […]
NASA radar image of Mercury's north pole captured by its MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting the planet, showing in yellow radar-bright areas thought to contain deposits of water ice.
It’s time to add Mercury to the list of worlds where you can go ice-skating. Confirming decades of suspicion, a NASA spacecraft has spotted vast deposits of water ice on the planet closest to the sun. A Nasa spacecraft has confirmed there’s ice at Mercury’s north pole. Scientists announced on Thursday that the orbiting probe, Messenger, has found evidence of frozen water, even though Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. The ice is located in the permanently shadowed region of Mercury’s north pole. It’s thought to be at least 1.5 feet deep and possibly as much as 65 feet deep. Scientists say it’s likely Mercury’s south pole also has ice, though there are no data to support it. Messenger orbits much closer to the north pole than the south. Radar measurements, for years, have suggested the presence of ice. Now scientists know for a fact. Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. It was launched in 2004. Read more here.
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How does the spring sounds under the Arctic seas?

Surprisingly loud and cacophonous believe it or not!  Although completely covered with ice on the surface with no signs of life these waters are filled with various animals.  Acoustic communication is key in a dark, ice-covered environment.  With the help of the hydrophone scientists are monitoring the sounds made by various aquatic life forms in […]
Surprisingly loud and cacophonous believe it or not!  Although completely covered with ice on the surface with no signs of life these waters are filled with various animals.  Acoustic communication is key in a dark, ice-covered environment.  With the help of the hydrophone scientists are monitoring the sounds made by various aquatic life forms in the Arctic. A hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording or listening to underwater sound. Most hydrophones are based on a piezoelectric transducer that generates electricity when subjected to a pressure change.     So, what do they hear?
  • Trills of the bearded seals
  • Moans and grunts of the bowhead whales
  • Whistles of the beluga whales
  The reason for all this cacophony is that sounds propagates well in water and covers longer distances. There is a lot of shipping noise in this area of the ocean, which causes some animals to gradually change the frequency of their calls.  They start calling at higher frequencies, to escape the shipping noise. Read more here.    
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