Under the shadows of the planet Mercury lie huge reserves of mysterious ice. Since its discovery, scientists have wondered how all that water got there, but now a new study has confirmed one of the main hypotheses.
A computer simulation of small celestial bodies such as: asteroids, comets and dust particles carry enough water to account for the amount of matter found on the smallest planet on our planet. solar system.
The planet’s surface closest to the sun is marked by craters, some of which are so steep that they always keep their valleys in the dark. In these regions, it is possible to find layers of ice several meters thick that defy scientists’ explanations.
It was then that Kateryna Frantseva arrived on the scene. A researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) has developed an algorithm that can simulate the impact of foreign objects on the planet.
With the password, he discovered the source of all this water. For more than a billion years, space dust was the main source of ice during this period, contributing 16 times more than comets and asteroids, according to the study.
In a note, Frantseva says the role of endogenous water sources on the planet, such as volcanic activity or gas release, cannot be ignored. However, she points out that the falling of space objects alone can explain the phenomenon.
In the future, the algorithm could serve as a basis for theoretical models for calculating the volume of exoplanet water.
ARTICLE Icarus: doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2022.114980
Source: Tec Mundo
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