The high sulfur contents combined with low amounts of iron on the planet's surface additionally indicate that Mercury formed from materials with less oxygen than those that formed the other terrestrial planets, providing an important constraint on theories for the formation of all of the planets in the inner Solar System.MESSENGER has provided multiple lines of evidence that Mercury’s polar regions host water ice.
Because potassium is much more volatile than thorium, the ratio of the abundances of these two elements is a sensitive measure of thermal processes that fractionate elements by volatility.
For Mercury, as seen in the first graph, this ratio is similar to that for other terrestrial planets at greater distances from the Sun but significantly higher than that for the Moon, which lost potassium during the giant impact that led to its formation.
Particularly high potassium concentrations were observed by MESSENGER's Gamma-Ray Spectrometer at high northern latitudes, as illustrated in the abundance map on the left side of the animation.
Relatively high abundances of other volatile elements, including sulfur (right side of the animation), sodium, and chlorine, provide further evidence that Mercury is volatile-rich.
But clearly these statements contradict each other.
Here’s the idea: a medium, whatever it is, is made up of molecules.
When a photon (light particle) hits a molecule it is sometimes absorbed.
Its energy is turned into raised electron-energy-levels, or vibrations and flexing, or movement.
When you’re learning physics, there are several things that you learn in the first couple years.
Among them are: 1) The speed of light is an absolute.
Shown here is a view looking down on Mercury’s north polar region, with 0° longitude on the bottom of the view and extending to 65°N latitude.