Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mercury's Inspirational Ice

You may or may not have seen this image already.  For those who don't recognize it, this is the most basic photo of the planet Mercury with an overlay indicating water-based ice.  It's important to say that it's water-based ice, and not something else.  Simple comparison - most of us have seen dry ice puffing off to smoke (a scientific process called sublimation; solid straight to gas)... so we know that more than just good old H2O can turn into ice in this galaxy.  Why bother showing you this image?  Well, again, for those who haven't read it, NASA announced that they've found ice on the surface of Mercury.  Closest to the sun, capable of surface temperatures around 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and we've got more than enough ice to mix up cocktails.

Mercury has at least 100 billion metric tons of water ice, and possibly much more.  Now, the Earth is about 70% water, so we aren't talking about oceans (the image itself makes that pretty clear).  What we are talking about is usable water, and potential for life.  No, I'm not talking about alien life.  Anyone who has read my Olympus Union books probably knows that I'm not overly concerned with finding non-human life.  Certainly, I like Star Wars and the Frank Compton series, and have no problems with aliens... it's just not a focus for me.  What is, however, is how we can put our life on other planets.

There hasn't been a great deal of interest, on my part, in Mercury.  Go ahead, check out, or read "The Past Repeated" and see just how much I put into Mercury.  Not a lot, I know.  I've got some ideas, and there is a short story actually sketched out to do some work on Mercury, but again, not a whole lot.  This discovery changed things for me, though.  In the upcoming "The Future Reborn" I've got Jones Oden talking about stronger expansion inside the asteroid belt.  So much has been done with Mars.  One of my biggest tasks, lately, has been to sketch out a number of stories to take place across the nearly two dozen cities that I've laid out in my initial world building.  Now, however, I'm aiming for Venus and Mercury.

There is already a story prepped for Venus.  I outlined it earlier this week, and it will probably wind up around 10-15 pages long.  There will be a few more to accompany it, with ideas already swirling.  At one point, I'd outlined something of a detective story on Mercury, as well.  Frustratingly, I lost it... but I'm going to try and recreate parts of it.  A flurry or Mercury ideas are on the way, and you can bet I'm going to have some fun, and hope to entertain you in the process.  Onward to Mercury!!

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