Some recent studies have shown that Pluto has a liquid water ocean that’s buried beneath its icy shell. Gizmodo addressed the issue of how is such a thing possible and why the ocean does not freeze on a planet that’s located at the outer edges of the solar system.
The same online publication reports that experts from Japan and the US might have an answer to this question.
In a paper that was published yesterday in Nature Geoscience, the researchers seem to be reportedly speculating that maybe Pluto’s ocean is kept insulated by a layer of gas that’s beneath the ice.
If this is a correct assumption, it would mean that this mechanism might be keeping other icy worlds from freezing completely as well.
“If this mechanism is common, then oceans might be common on other large [Kuiper Belt objects],” study co-author Francis Nimmo from the University of California, Santa Cruz told Gizmodo.
Gizmodo also said that this paper is based on more pieces of evidence.
The New Horizons mission
For instance, the New Horizons mission that was flown by Pluto back in 2015 found out that this planet is pretty complex from a geological point a view.
In the scientists’ models from 2016, there are some suggestions that the “Sputnik Planitia, the lefthand lobe of the dwarf planet’s “heart,” could have a subsurface, partially-liquid ocean like the ones on the icy moons of Jupiter or Saturn,” writes the online publication mentioned above.
They also write that the theory is really wild – to consider that such a distant and small planet as Pluto is not totally frozen and it has liquid water beneath its surface.
Pluto doesn’t have gravitational energy from a close massive planet to maintain tides and help warm the water.
On the other hand, the scientists say that it would be possible that the ice shell has a layer of water ice cages that trap gas such as methane inside. Without this layer, the ice would remove heat from Pluto’s interior.
You can check out more speculation and data in the research.
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up ’til now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.