Udayavni Special

Pluto may have started hot and contained an ocean that still exists: Study


Team Udayavani, Jun 25, 2020, 8:07 PM IST

Researchers suggest Pluto may have been born as a warmer place with subsurface ocean that still exists

They analysed images of Pluto’s surface taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft and computer simulations of its interior to propose “hot start” scenario for Pluto’s formation.

Carver Bierson, scientist, University of California Santa Cruz planetary,  “When Pluto was forming, new material would have been coming in and impacting its surface. Each impact is like an explosion that would warm the nearby area”

“If Pluto formed slowly, the surface would cool between each impact and generally stay very cold. If Pluto formed quickly, you have impact on top of impact and the surface doesn’t have time to cool. We calculate that if Pluto formed in less than 30,000 years, the heat from these impacts could have been sufficient to lead to an early ocean”, he added

The ocean is thought to have existed for around four and a half billion years, older even than the seas on Earth.

 

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