Scientists have already observed that Pluto has a heart-shaped region made of ice. But how did this happen?
According to research by French scientists Tongue Bertrand and François Forget, the appearance of this glacier is the result of a combination of local surface features and atmospheric processes.
In a 2016 study published in the journal Nature, researchers constructed detailed ice structures from nitrogen mixed with carbon monoxide and methane.
It covers an area of four kilometers deep and one thousand kilometers wide on Pluto’s Sputnik Plain.
To understand the origins of this glacier, the two scientists performed numerical simulations of the evolution of the chemical components of the ice deposits. dwarf planet for 50,000 Earth years. They found that the terrain influenced glacier formation, accelerating the cooling of the ice.
The weather cycles also showed seasonal frosts that match data collected by NASA’s New Horizons mission and observations of polar brightness observed since 1985.
The scientists’ simulations also suggest that these seasonal frosts are expected to disappear within the next decade. The study authors say that future observations may provide new opportunities to test their model.
Another study published in Nature Communications in March this year highlights that there is more evidence that Ice “Volcano” Activated Until recently on Pluto.
Kelsey Singer, a planetary scientist at the Southeast Research Institute in Colorado, told AFP that instead of spewing lava, they ejected from Earth a thick, muddy mixture of water and ice, “or perhaps a solid fluid like glaciers”.
The research was made possible by analyzing data and images that produced the New Horizons probe, the first spacecraft to explore Pluto in 2015.
Pluto was once a planet
Pluto was discovered in 1930 and was highlighted for years as the ninth planet in the Solar System.
However, in 2006, astronomers from the International Astronomical Union have decided to exclude it from the category,
In general, a planet is considered as such when it is a celestial body with no light of its own, which revolves around a star.
In the case of Pluto, it does not meet the requirements, its orbit with respect to the Sun is influenced by the orbit of Neptune. Therefore, it is not parallel to the other planets in the Solar System. That is, it depends on other celestial bodies.
The change was controversial. In 2019, NASA claimed that Pluto it should be considered a planetWho ruled the discussions.
In 2021, a new group of scientists argued that their downgrade was based on backward thinking, So far, Pluto is unclassified as a planet.