Welcome to Wright Moons, Pluto. The landscape around this mountain range is likely caused by ice volcanoes, to conclude Astronomers this week in Nature Communications† Ice volcanoes stirred up a sleet and icy mixture of ammonia and water that froze to the surface. Water in which ammonia dissolves has a lower freezing point.
The photo was taken by New Horizons, the space probe that launched a flew by Made from a dwarf planet. Potential spots of volcanoes are indicated in blue glow. Astronomers note the absence of craters, which indicates a young landscape. The hillsides dotted with hills are also typical (on the left) that are typical of volcanic landscapes.
Heat is essential for ice volcanoes, but it’s unclear where it comes from on Pluto. Models show that under the icy crust of Pluto, there can be a water-rich ocean at a depth of 100 to 200 kilometers.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on April 2, 2022
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of April 2, 2022
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