Modeling Ice Stability
A map of "permafrost" on Mercury showing the calculated depths below the surface at which water ice is predicted to be thermally stable. The grey areas are regions that are too warm at all depths for stable water ice. The colored regions are sufficiently cold for subsurface ice to be stable, and the white regions are sufficiently cold for exposed surface ice to be stable. The thermal model results predict the presence of surface and subsurface water ice at the same locations where they are observed by Earth-based radar and MLA observations.
Date acquired: November 29, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington