Astronomers have announced an ocean of liquid water in the bowels of Pluto

(ORDO NEWS) — The scientific team of the New Horizons mission discovered unusual landforms on Pluto, which arose as a result of long-term eruptions of cryovolcanoes, and the data obtained also indicated the presence of an ocean of liquid water in the bowels of the planet.

“We have discovered several relatively young landforms in the vicinity of Mount Wright on Pluto, whose existence cannot be explained by various forms of erosion.

We assume that they arose as a result of prolonged and massive eruptions of cryovolcanoes, which led to the formation of many domed structures in this region of Pluto, ”the researchers write in the journal Nature Communications, TASS reports.

Also, data from New Horizons indicated the presence of an ocean of liquid water in the bowels of Pluto. This discovery indicated that the heat of this ocean could generate cryovolcano eruptions on the surface of the dwarf planet, as well as other geological activities that have no analogues on Earth.

Scientists have discovered several landforms unique to Pluto at once, resulting from eruptions of cryovolcanoes.

Their attention was attracted by domed structures several kilometers long and wide, located in the neighborhood of two large mountain peaks, Mount Wright and Mount Picard, whose height is about 4-5 km.

These mounds were scattered randomly across the surface of the plain surrounding both mountains, making it look like scale armor or a fluffed mattress.

The analysis carried out by scientists ruled out the possibility that the hillocks on the surface of the plain arose as a result of the collapse of the tops of the mountains, as well as sublimation or wind erosion of their slopes.

At the same time, planetary scientists found a relatively small number of craters and other traces of destruction on the surface of these hillocks, which indicates that they arose relatively recently (by geological standards). They found that all the hills are almost 100% composed of the “hardest” Plutonian rock – water ice.

Scientists believe that the structures they discovered are traces of the most powerful eruptions of cryovolcanoes that occurred on Pluto about 1-2 billion years ago. Manifestations of their activity covered this region of Pluto with a thick layer of water ice, whose volume exceeds 10 thousand cubic meters. km.

Such a volume of cryovolcano eruptions, according to planetary scientists, is comparable to the amount of lava that was produced by the Yellowstone supervolcano and other major volcanic centers on Earth during their maximum awakening in the distant past.

This suggests that the interior of Pluto may remain geologically active even today, despite a significant decrease in the temperature of the interior of the dwarf planet.


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