Did Mercury ever have life?

Did Mercury ever have life?

According to a recent research from the Planetary Science Institute, Mercury may have once supported subterranean microscopic life, as implausible as it may appear. Mercury, our solar system's nearest planet to the sun, as seen during the MESSENGER spacecraft's first approach in 2008. The image was taken with the Wide-Field Imager on MESSENGER's Lander Vision Camera.

The finding is based on observations made by MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment GEochemistry and Ranging) of changes occurring on the far side of Mercury when it passes behind its star every 87 days. As sunlight strikes the surface, it heats it up, causing some areas to evaporate and others to freeze. Over time this repeated process removes material from the surface, leaving a low-density hole called a crater. MESSENGER's cameras have recorded many such holes on the far side of Mercury, where no one had gone for thousands or even millions of years.

Scientists used MESSENGER's data to create 3D models of these far-side craters that showed they contained water ice at their centers. They also found signs that other materials had been present within them, including sulfur and chlorine compounds which are only formed through biological processes. "This suggests that there might be life down there today, somehow isolated from contact with any environment we know about," said MESSENGER Deputy Project Scientist Linda Spilker.

Does Mercury have anything special?

Mercury is also the smallest planet in the solar system, with an equator that is only 3,032 miles wide. It is thus just slightly bigger than Earth's moon. Mercury is the most elusive of the five planets visible to the human eye due to its small size and proximity to the sun. Even though it is the closest planet to the sun, temperatures on Mercury can drop below -400 degrees Fahrenheit; any water that was previously present on the planet is likely gone.

Earth's moon has been visited by several astronauts from the world's only lunar colony. The first humans to set foot on the far side of the Moon were Russian scientists who spent six days in July 2009 doing research at the Priroda (or "Pride") scientific station. NASA's next mission to the Moon will be the Apollo 11 anniversary event on July 20th, when the space agency plans to launch the Orion spacecraft carrying American astronauts Robert C. Behnken and Douglas A. Hurley to meet their counterparts from the Russian crew.

Venus is almost exactly the same size as Earth, but because it lies so close to the sun, it is sweltering hot—900 degrees Fahrenheit in its atmosphere. There is no evidence of water on Venus, but there may have been once, many millions of years ago.

Mars is larger than Earth, but it still takes just under 6 months to travel around Mars at 24,000 miles per hour!

Did Mercury ever have liquid water?

Mercury, the nearest planet to the Sun, may contain at least 100 billion tons of ice in perpetually shadowed craters near its north pole, according to NASA scientists. While there is no firm proof of liquid water on Mercury, it may exist under the planet's ice. The discovery was made by studying data from the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) spacecraft. NuSTAR was launched in 2012 and is currently orbiting around Mercury.

Liquid water is necessary for life as we know it, so this finding has important implications for whether or not Mercury can support microbial life. There are two types of habitats on Earth that rely on liquid water but do not require a surface source of it: deep underground and in closed systems such as volcanic tubes. Given these constraints, it is possible that all life on Mercury came from a source other than Earth's biosphere, for example via an asteroid impact.

However, this conclusion is not straightforward because many other factors are involved in creating habitable environments. For example, if Mercury had abundant oxygen in its atmosphere then an origin outside of Earth's biosphere would be less likely. Or if it had a strong magnetic field then any organic material that was delivered to Mercury's surface would be trapped there. Further research is needed to determine whether or not these conditions are present on Mercury.

It is also possible that some form of life exists on Mercury today but we just haven't found it yet.

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Brenda Durgan

Brenda Durgan is a spiritual healer who has helped thousands of people around the world through her work as a psychic and medium. Brenda's clients come from all walks of life, embracing spirituality as an integral part of their lives.

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