Saturday, December 14, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Scientists discover liquid ocean on Pluto


Posted on Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 | Comment icon 2 comments

There is a lot more to Pluto than initially meets the eye. Image Credit: NASA
The enigmatic dwarf planet has been throwing up no shortage of surprises over the last few years.
When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft performed a flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015, it found, not a barren wasteland, but a world filled with a bewildering array of complex and varied surface features.

Now scientists in Japan have determined that Sputnik Planitia - a large ice-covered basin - could be concealing a vast subterranean ocean similar to that found on Europa and Enceladus.
While it was previously believed that the temperature required to maintain a liquid ocean would cause the ice to melt, it has since been suggested that a layer of gas above the liquid and below the ice could insulate the two from one another and enable them to co-exist.

"To maintain an ocean, Pluto needs to retain heat inside," the researchers wrote. "On the other hand, to maintain large variations in its thickness, Pluto's ice shell needs to be cold."

"Here we show... that the presence of a thin layer of clathrate hydrates (gas hydrates) at the base of the ice shell can explain both the long-term survival of the ocean and the maintenance of shell thickness contrasts."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (2)

Tags: Pluto

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish on 20 May, 2019, 23:56
I've got a question. Probably way off topic. But what would happen if Pluto switched places with say Mars? 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Piney on 21 May, 2019, 0:44
It would be a water-methane world. It's basically a big comet. 


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6612616
276351
182931

 
Thylacine hunter to spend two years in the bush
12-14-2019
Neil Waters is preparing to spend two years living in the Australian bush in an effort to capture a live thylacine.
Human lifespan is only 38 years, study claims
12-14-2019
A new method for determining lifespans from DNA has offered up a perplexing figure for our 'natural' lifespan.
Fish farmers rescue eagle from giant octopus
12-14-2019
The struggling animals were recently encountered off the northwest tip of Canada's Vancouver Island.
Giant telescope to join the search for alien life
12-13-2019
The world's largest filled-aperture radio telescope is about to start operating after several years of testing.
Stories & Experiences
My reptilian encounter
11-24-2019 | Ireland and Australia
 
The day I found out I am immortal
11-24-2019 | Hialeah
 
Recent activity in my home
11-24-2019 | Kansas City, MO USA
 
The houndsman
10-26-2019 | Michigan, USA
 
Birthday balloon
10-26-2019 | Usa
 
Devil man in a suit
10-26-2019 | Ohio
 
I accidentally called myself ?
9-28-2019 | United States
 
Giant wolf in my basement
9-28-2019 | Connecticut
 
I saw a shadow figure...
9-26-2019 | Australia
 
A haunting in Iowa
9-26-2019 | Central City, Iowa
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2019
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ