On Thursday NASA announced that their Messenger probe discovered ice poles on Mercury, according to David Lawrence a Messenger Scientist at Johns Hopkins University. According to the probe the hydrogen levels suggest that there is ice water on Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. The probe has taken over 100,000 photos of Mercury. Hit the jump for more.

In the announcement, Sean Solomon, principal investigator for the Mercury Messenger program, said the probe had uncovered new evidence that deposits in permanently shadowed regions of Mercury’s poles is water ice. The ice is found predominantly in impact craters, according to data obtained by Messenger.

According to a NASA press release, the tilt of Mercury’s rotational axis is almost zero — less than one degree — so there are pockets at the planet’s poles that never see sunlight. Scientists suggested decades ago that there might be water ice at Mercury’s poles, but the new findings provide”compelling support” for that claim.

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