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The secret of Pluto's strange polygons was revealed

BingMag.com The <b>secret</b> of <b>Pluto's</b> <b>strange</b> <b>polygons</b> was revealed

Scientists have unveiled the secret of the formation of strange polygons on the surface of Pluto that the New Horizons spacecraft saw when it met the dwarf planet. A new study shows that the strange geometric shapes first seen on the dwarf planet's surface in 2015 are signs that a sublimation process is underway on Pluto.

The study, published in the December 15 issue of the journal Nature, shows the polygonal nitrogen ice on Pluto, observed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in flight. Instead of passing through a liquid state, it turns directly from steam to ice.

According to Adrien Morison, lead author and researcher at the University of Exeter in the UK, this research is the first modeling explanation for this. They are shapes and show why these polygons exist on the surface of the dwarf planet.

Morrison added: "Pluto was far away N from the sun and having limited internal energy sources, is still geologically active. This activity involves the sputonic atmosphere, where surface conditions allow atmospheric gas nitrogen to combine with solid nitrogen. "Sputnik Planitia" is the most geologically significant feature of Pluto because it is a large oval-shaped region on Pluto's equator. This structure is on the left side of Pluto's famous ice heart, Tombaugh, which was surprising when it first met the dwarf planet.

They called it "Sputnik Planum", its area is estimated at 900,000 square kilometers and its depth is at least 2 to 3 kilometers.

BingMag.com The <b>secret</b> of <b>Pluto's</b> <b>strange</b> <b>polygons</b> was revealed

A close-up image of Pluto's Sputnik hammock captured during the near passage of the New Horizons on July 14, 2015 (July 23, 2015).
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute. New horizons are produced in the spacecraft images. The new model is also consistent with Pluto's larger, global climatic models, which indicate that sublimation began in Sputnik one or two million years ago.

The research team noted that the sublimation process may take place in other icy worlds. Around a solar system such as Triton, Neptune's large moon or objects such as Eris and Makemake occur in the solar system's Kuiper belt. But more observations of their levels are likely to be needed, which in turn will likely require a spacecraft. So far there are no missions to visit these different worlds.

  • The man who killed Pluto has found a new ninth planet!

Cover photo: Pluto from the perspective of the New Horizons spacecraft
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute


Source: Space

Tags: secret, pluto's, strange, polygons, revealed

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