Mercury has water, ice and organics. The ice is in permanently shadowed craters that don’t receive any sunlight. Organics, a building block for life, were also found on the planet’s surface. While Mercury doesn’t have enough atmosphere and is too hot for life as we know it, finding organics there can give clues on how those compounds were distributed throughout the Solar System. There’s also quite a bit of sulfur on the surface, something that scientists are still trying to understand since no other planet in the Solar System has it in such high concentrations. (Data observed by NASA’s MESSENGER from 2008).
In ancient China, Mercury was known as "the Hour Star" (Chen-xing 辰星). It was associated with the direction north and the phase of water in the Five Phases system of metaphysics. Modern Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese cultures refer to the planet literally as the "water star" (水星).
- ↑ Interesting Facts About Mercury, Elizabeth Howell (2015)
- ↑ Kelley, David H.; Milone, E. F.; Aveni, Anthony F. (2004). Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy. Birkhäuser. ISBN 0-387-95310-8.
- ↑ De Groot, Jan Jakob Maria (1912). Religion in China: universism. a key to the study of Taoism and Confucianism. American lectures on the history of religions. 10. G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 300. Retrieved 2010-01-08.