Ice dwarf that hides a liquid ocean. Than another famous Pluto
MOSCOW, 15 Nov — RIA Novosti, Tatiana Pichugina. Three years ago, the spacecraft NASA’s “New horizons” (New Horizons) flew past the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon, making pictures with higher resolution and collecting a lot of information. Astronomers call the pair a double planet and argue about its origins. RIA Novosti says that is now known about Pluto.
Until recently about this celestial body had so little data that it is rarely even mentioned in fiction. Opened in 1930. Long considered the ninth planet of the Solar system, most distant from the star. One year on Pluto is equal to 248 earth years. The orbit is highly inclined and intersects with the orbit of Neptune, but so that a collision is impossible. Pluto revolve around the five satellites.
Over time it became clear: the mass of Pluto is too small to consider it a real planet. Because of the unusual orbit was assumed that in the past he was a moon of Neptune. This hypothesis is now not considered. However, since 2006, for Pluto has officially given the status of dwarf planet.
Ice on top, hot inside
Pluto belongs to the Kuiper belt — the accumulation of ice bodies, pushed to the edges of the Solar system during its formation. In July 2015 space station NASA New horizons reached Pluto. The machine flew past the planet at a distance of 12.5 thousand kilometers. The information collected for nine days. His mission is not over: in early 2019, the station will begin to explore the Kuiper belt.
Information submitted to “New horizons”, has surprised scientists.
Pluto found the atmosphere really sparse.
There continues a rather tumultuous geological activity, though the planet is completely ice. For comparison, our Moon, located much closer to the Sun, no atmosphere, in its interior, nothing happens. Based on these data, the scientists made some conclusions about the internal structure of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon.
Pluto and Charon revolve around a common center of mass, located outside.
Therefore, astronomers prefer to speak about the double planet Pluto — Charon.
This pair was formed over four billion years ago from a relatively small planetesimals — the embryos of planets, composed of rock, ice, dust.
According to the dominant hypothesis at an early stage in Protonproton crashed large celestial body, literally squeezed out of it the ammonia ocean and creating a crater on the spot, a gravitational anomaly. The result of the protoplanet, turned over, shifted the orbit. From which arose clouds of dust gradually formed four small icy satellite.
By the way, modeling the history of the couple Pluto — Charon led scientists to the idea that Protozilla at an early stage there were a few satellites. According to the main hypothesis, the impact of a meteorite dislodged from Protozilla enough material to form the moon in orbit. A smaller body just flew beyond the force of gravity and are now somewhere at a distance not closer than 800 thousand kilometers, of course, if they went through the process of formation of the Solar system.
Pluto may be the more hidden beneath thick layer of salty ice, syrupy poisonous liquid, predominantly ammonia.
About ocean shows extensive lowland, located 2.5 kilometers below the average surface of Pluto. It is called the plain of the Satellite. Gravitational anomaly and form tectonic depression indicate that under the ice is liquid body, which do not allow to freeze ammonia, and the energy of radioactive decay of the stone core.
Another sign of the ocean is radiating fractures, penetrating plain.
However, the researchers emphasize that all the evidence is circumstantial.
The rocky core of Pluto is shrouded in a mantle of water ice with a capacity of about three hundred kilometers, and on top of the planet covers the glacier, consisting of molecules of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and ammonia.