Forget Mars: Why Mercury's ice-covered poles may be more important

The hot little planet's north pole is covered in enough ice to bury Washington, D.C., under two and a half miles of frozen water

A mosaic of Mercury's North Polar Region
(Image credit: Image Credit: NASA)

It's fairly common knowledge that Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, is one of the hottest in our solar system. During its equivalent of high noon, temperatures can jump as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Lesser known, though, is that the tiny planet's shadowy polar regions are unexpectedly frigid. Here, a brief guide to NASA's discovery:

Just how cold are Mercury's poles?

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