Guilty Thought of the Day

(Photo: Spike Dennis)

Kenneth Chang, writing in the N.Y. Times about recent findings from the planet Mercury:

Mercury is as cold as ice.

Indeed, Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, possesses a lot of ice — 100 billion to 1 trillion tons — scientists working with NASA’s Messenger spacecraft reported on Thursday.

Sean C. Solomon, the principal investigator for Messenger, said there was enough ice there to encase Washington, D.C., in a frozen block two and a half miles deep.

My first thought: encase Washington in miles-deep ice? — let’s do it!

David Bley

I am not sure. Wasn't it Will Rogers that claimed that air conditioning ruined Washington? Actually, if my memory serves, doesn't Mecury revolve about its axis at the same rate which it revolves around the Sun, thus always presenting the same hemisphere to the sun? Maybe we should use the ice for something like fresh water (the Sahara could be a garden) and ship the hot side of Mercury to Washington.


Mercury Isn’t tidally locked, it rotates about 1.5 times per orbit, so a solar day on Mercury takes longer that a solar year (on Mercury), but there is no “dark side.”
The Ice in question is in deep craters that never see the sun. Since there is no atmosphere, anything that’s not in the sunlight stays cold.

Josh Leath

Would this equate to "hell freezing over"?


Well, not quite freezing over, but there certainly appears enough to go ice skating on :-) Humm... New adventure sport?

Eric M. Jones.

I think notions like this are headed in the wrong direction.


So we should go ice skating on Europa instead?

Sine Nomine

As Steve Martin once said, "I believe President Reagan can make the United States what it once was. A vast arctic wasteland covered with ICE."