NASA’s research reveals liquid water beneath the icy surface of Pluto –

NASA’s research reveals liquid water beneath the icy surface of Pluto


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<figcaption clbad= NASA's investigation reveals liquid water beneath the frozen surface of Pluto

NASA says gravitational attraction of the moons could generate heat to maintain the liquid.

The investigation considers bodies in the outer solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune, aptly called Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO) These bodies, which include the ancient planet Pluto, are relatively far from the sun and have surface temperatures of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit below zero (around 200 degrees Celsius below zero), temperatures at which liquid water can not exist.

But the study suggests that gravitational interaction with its moons could cause enough heat inside these bodies. nds to hold liquid oceans under frigid surfaces. And if your findings are correct, it could have implications in our search for potentially habitable places beyond Earth, or even other life forms.

"These objects should be considered as possible reservoirs of water and life If our study is correct, we can now have more places in our solar system that possess some of the critical elements for extraterrestrial life," said Prabal Saxena of Goddard NASA's Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who was the lead author of the investigation. in a statement on Thursday.

Researchers believe that liquid water could exist in Pluto and outer solar system bodies because when they badyzed the reflected light of some TNOs, they found crystalline water ice signatures and ammonia hydrates. However, due to extreme cold in TNOs, water ice crystals are not sorted in the way we see them on Earth, and space radiation breaks down ammonia hydrates. To explain their presence despite the conditions that would prevent them from existing, the researchers suggest that they came to the surface of a source of liquid indoor water, which erupted through a process called cryovolcanism.

Radioactivity in the nuclei of planetary bodies, including TNOs responsible for most of the long-lasting heat within them. But that heat dissipated over time, as the radioactive elements decompose into stable, and it was not enough to explain the hydrothermal activity observed in Enceladus. Nor is it sufficient to explain the liquid subsurface oceans that are believed to exist in TNOs. Enter the concept of tidal heating.

"Large collisions between celestial objects can generate moons when the material splashes in orbit around the largest object and joins in one or more moons due to its own gravity, because collisions occur in a variety of directions and speeds, it is unlikely that they will initially produce moons with perfectly stable orbits.As a moon generated by collision fits into a more stable orbit, the mutual gravitational pull causes the interiors of the parent world and its new moon to stretch and relax. repeatedly, generating friction that releases heat in a process known as tidal warming, "NASA said in the statement.

The research team used tidal heating equations to estimate how much heat could be contributing to a number of TNOs, including Pluto and the larger known TNO network, Eris.

"We found that tidal warming can be a turning point that may have preserved oceans of liquid water beneath the surface of large TNOs like Pluto and Eris to this day," said Wade Henning of NASA Goddard and the University of Maryland, College Park, co-author of the study.

Titled "Relevance of tidal warming in large TNO", the article was published on November 24 in the journal Icarus.

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