Space & Astronomy
Could there be alien life forms hidden beneath the surface of Mercury ?
By T.K. Randall
December 7, 2023 · 1 comment
Could there be life on Mercury ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 ESA / BepiColombo / MTM
A groundbreaking new study has indicated that there could be habitable salt glaciers situated beneath the planet's surface.
With temperatures ranging from an unimaginably freezing -173C during the night to a blisteringly hot 427C during the day across its equatorial regions, Mercury, which completes one orbit of the Sun every 87.97 days, is certainly not the first place you would typically think of when it comes to seeking out habitable environments within our own solar system.
Despite this, however, the closest planet to the Sun is the focus of a fascinating new study in which scientists suggest that there may in fact be habitable salt glaciers just beneath Mercury's surface.
Such glaciers, described as being of "pivotal importance", were revealed by asteroid impacts that exposed the subsurface material.
"Our models strongly affirm that salt flow likely produced these glaciers and that after their emplacement they retained volatiles for over 1 billion years," said study co-author Bryan Travis.
Crucially, these salty environment have the potential to support primitive life.
"These areas could potentially act as depth-dependent 'Goldilocks zones,' analogous to the region around a star where the existence of liquid water on a planet might enable life as we know it," said NASA's Alexis Rodriguez.
"But in this case, the focus is on the right depth below the planet's surface rather than the right distance from a star."
Source: Yahoo! News
| Comments (1)