Scientists from the NASA New Horizons team have determined that there are ice volcanoes on the surface of Pluto that cannot be seen anywhere else in the solar system. Researchers are on a mission to make the first exploration of Pluto and its five-moon system. Could the presence of these types of volcanoes mean that Pluto is habitable?
The NASA team made a groundbreaking discovery
Pluto is a dwarf planet or just an icy asteroid. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union deprived Pluto of planetary statuswhich means that the solar system is officially made up of eight celestial bodies orbiting their parent star.
New Horizons mission scientists have found evidence that the activity of ice volcanoes – ice volcanoes – likely created some unique structures on Pluto not yet seen anywhere else in the solar system. details: https://t.co/MooBv2iMiS pic.twitter.com/vAPwreCHf2
– NASA’s Solar System March 29, 2022
Pluto’s ice volcanoes may be the result of multiple eruptions. A team from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency “New Horizons” analyzed the composition of the region southwest of the icy “heart” of the asteroid. There, an area was discovered containing many large domes, 1 to 7 kilometers in height and 30 to 100 kilometers or more in diameter. Unconnected ridges, ridges, and depressions, known as hilly areas, cover the sides as well as the tops of many larger structures. NASA researchers have confirmed that the largest structures in the area rival the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.
NASA New Horizons
The formation of ice volcanoes is due to the fact that liquid water freezes rapidly on the surface of Pluto. Also, one should not rule out an eruption that could resemble this asteroid to Earth.
One of the benefits of discovering new places in the solar system is that we find things we didn’t expect
Said Kelsey Singer, Research Associate on the New Horizons Project.
These giant, strange-looking volcanoes spotted by NASA are an excellent example of how we are expanding our understanding of volcanic processes and the geological activity that occurs on the surface of the icy world.
– Kelsey Singer confirmed.
Is there life on Pluto?
Images acquired early in 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft revealed a variety of geological features across Pluto. These cadres have provided NASA scientists with vital information about mountains, valleys, plains, and glaciers. It was particularly interesting because the freezing temperatures of the asteroid were expected to create a frozen, inactive world.
The latest discovery is truly groundbreaking because it highlights once again just how great Pluto’s geological character is and how very active it has been over a long period of time.
New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern said.
– NASA New Horizons (@NASANewHorizons) February 14, 2022
It is known that Pluto had an ocean under the surface. Finding ice volcanoes could mean the ocean is still under the surface. There is an assumption that Pluto has a warmer interior, which leads to questions about the habitability of this dwarf planet.
New research by Singer and colleagues shows that before we examine this asteroid more closely, there is more to learn about the wonders of Pluto than we ever imagined.
Alan Stern added.
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