Using data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, scientists found that a region of Pluto was formed from the explosion of ice volcanoes. They called it a unique feature on the dwarf planet that has not been observed elsewhere in the solar system.
According to the new study published in Nature Communications journal, researchers found that a region of Pluto was formed from the explosion of ice volcanoes. The study was carried out by analysing the returned images of the dwarf planet from NASA's New Horizon Spacecraft. Researchers, including planetary scientist Kelsi Singer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said that they examined one of the regions on Pluto that has very few impact craters and is dominated by giant rises with prominent sides. Calling this geomorphology of the region unique, the study says that similar characteristics do not occur any place else in the solar system that has been photographed.
According to scientists, these cryovolcanoes, which may number ten or more, range in height from one kilometre to seven kilometres. Pluto's cryovolcanoes, unlike Earth's volcanoes, erupt vast volumes of ice instead of gases and molten rock. They claim that the extrudes are frozen water rather than some other frozen substances with the consistency of toothpaste.
The location is located southwest of the Sputnik Planitia ice sheet, which covers a 1,000-kilometre-long ancient impact basin, according to the new study. The area is mostly made up of irregular water ice and is covered with volcanic cones. Wright Mons and Piccard Mons are two of the biggest known, researchers said.
Confirming NASA's 2015 hypotheses
Images and data analyzed in the new study, obtained in 2015 by New Horizons, validated previous hypotheses about cryovolcanism on Pluto. In 2015, NASA claimed about the cryovolcanoes on Pluto. In their press release in 2015 on the matter concerned, they said, " New Horizons geologists combined images of Pluto’s surface to make 3-D maps that indicate two of Pluto’s most distinctive mountains could be cryovolcanoes -- ice volcanoes that may have been active in the recent geological past."
Source: Republic World
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