‘Earth Like Place Found On Pluto’ Says Scientists From Newyork University

Saicharan Palakurthi

After so many unbelievable experiments and discovering thousands of amusing secrets in and outside the earth. Here is something very interesting which sounds like we discovered another home just like our mother earth. Though this place is at quite an unreachable distance from earth, the information itself is quite interesting.

Scientists found the evidence of snow and ice features on Pluto that, until now, had only been seen on Earth. They did this using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices.

This surface of the place discovered is stated as “penitentes”, and it is formed by erosion, they are bowl-shaped depressions with blade-like spires around the edge that rise several hundreds of feet.

This research is led by John Moores of York University, Toronto, in collaboration with scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and indicates that these icy features may also exist on other planets where environmental conditions are similar.

It is believed that the atmosphere in Pluto is clearly responsible for such formations of these ridges in Pluto’s informally named Tartarus Dorsa area called as penitentes¬†– which Moores says would explain why they have not previously been seen on other airless icy satellites or dwarf planets.

“But exotic differences in the environment give rise to features with very different scales,” says Jon Moores.

“This test of our terrestrial models for penitentes suggests that we may find these features elsewhere in the solar system, and in other solar systems, where the conditions are right” he added.

Meanwhile, the project team also includes York’s Christina Smith, Anthony Toigo of APL and Scott Guzewich of Goddard Space Flight Center, they compared its model to ridges on Pluto imaged by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Pluto’s ridges are much larger – more than 1,600 feet (about 500 meters) tall and separated by four to five kilometres – than their Earthly counterparts.

“This gargantuan size is predicted by the same theory that explains the formation of these features on Earth,” says Moores. “In fact, we were able to match the size and separation, the direction of the ridges, as well as their age: three pieces of evidence that support our identification of these ridges as penitentes.”

Jon Moores concludes saying that though Pluto’s environment is very different from Earth’s – it is much colder, the air much thinner, the sun much dimmer and the snow and ice on the surface are made from methane and nitrogen instead of water – the same laws of nature apply.

He adds that both NASA and APL were instrumental in the collaboration that led to this new finding; both provided background information on Pluto’s atmosphere using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on Earth. This was one of the key ingredients in Moores’ own models of the penitentes, without which this discovery would not have been made.

The detailed description will be appearing in this week in the journal Nature.

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