Scientists have reasons to believe that Pluto keeps secret an ocean which appears to be deep under its surface. They claimed that Pluto has been prone to hide liquid water somewhere underground. This small planet appears to have been the target of NASA’s New Horizons mission. When the rocket passed by Pluto in July last year, astronomers were bound to believe that Pluto had at a certain time liquid water. These speculations do not demonstrate whether Pluto had this sea from the core of its existence or if it froze solid during the time.
- Pluto’s frosty surface is claimed to hide a very deep ocean.
- Scientists developed a study which proved the theory.
After conducting the study, researchers found out that the dwarf planet has indeed an ocean which is placed subsurface. They claim that there could be liquid water underneath the frosty surface. Scientists assume that this water may be 100 kilometers deep, and it could measure the an equivalent amount of saltiness as that of the Dead Sea. To give us a clear view, experts have stated that the deepest part of our planet’s ocean measures 11 kilometers and Terra is more or less 150 times bigger than Pluto. Could that mean that Pluto’s nucleus is made of liquid water?
Brandon Johnson, one of the authors of the conducted study and also an assistant professor at Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, asserted in his statement that information about the existence of a subsurface ocean has been discussed based on previous evidence, but still the details remain impalpable. It is obvious that everybody is curious about how did Johnson’s team reach to discover this. What are the proofs, you ask?
This team of researchers conducted a simulation of the impact of an asteroid with Pluto. The frosty patch from Pluto called by the scientists Sputnik Planum was always proved to be on the same side where the planet faces Charon, Pluto’s moon. That suggests that Sputnik Planum comprises more mass than the rest of the planet’s surface.
“Positive mass anomaly” is what happens every time Sputnik Planum faces Charon. Although this is just an immense crater caused by an asteroid and should have a negative mass abnormality, scientists discovered exactly the opposite.
The simulation conducted by Johnson’s team was made to calculate the results of the asteroid’s impact. Firstly, they simulated how the asteroid, as big and as rapid as the one which formed Sputnik Planum, hit at great speed Pluto’s surface. After the asteroid had bounced off Pluto’s surface, its inside was attracted towards the surface. In this way, we find out through “isostatic compensation” that the side of the icy planet which is supposed to be lighter in reality weighs almost like the opposite side. The dense water situated inside Pluto levelled out the mass which was missing.
Isn’t that amazing? Science brings us again new reasons to believe there is something out there which will prove extraterrestrial life exists. What do you think about this?
Image source: wikipedia