Researchers from Brown University have suggested that currently there is an ocean of liquid water under Pluto’s surface. Possible existence of water under the surface of Pluto discussed last year.
New research suggests huge underground sea
New data from the New Horizons spacecraft, allow scientists to suggest that under the icy crust of the dwarf planet , there is still a large amount of liquid water. Surprisingly, theoretically removing huge underground sea might exist from the sun under the surface of frozen nitrogen and ethane. To such conclusion the group of researchers from Brown University, analyzed data New Horizons and creating a new thermal model Pluto.
What made scientists come to such a bold statement?
First of all, the researchers drew attention to the dynamics of change in the volume of the dwarf planet. The planet may be reduced because of the ocean on Pluto have frozen millions or even billions of years ago. In this case, underground ice surface would be formed on the planet. There might be a special type of ice – ice II, which has a different crystal structure and smaller volume than conventional ice. But the planet is not reduced in volume, even on the contrary – extended. Therefore, the formation of ice II is not yet complete and the ocean is not completely frozen.
Pluto has a vast plain in the shape of a heart
In addition, scientists noticed the relatively fresh – from a geological point of view – tectonic processes. The Planet currently has exotic surface of different types of frozen water, nitrogen and methane. In the dwarf planet has mountains, hundreds of meters high, a vast plain in the shape of a heart, meandering cracks hundreds of kilometers long. Such changes cannot be attributed to the gravitational influence of Charon (Pluto’s moon) or processes occurring in the Kuiper belt. Tectonic changes have occurred much later than the period when the moon and the cold Kuiper Belt may have affected Pluto. Therefore, the only explanation is found, scientists – the existence of a 300-kilometer ice surface ocean Pluto, which is not yet fully frozen.