Earth Like Icy Ridges Found On Pluto

Posted: Jan 5 2017, 9:51am CST | by , Updated: Jan 5 2017, 10:23am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Icy Ridges Seen on Earth Found on Pluto
Pluto. "Penitentes" which are formed by erosion, are bowl-shaped depressions with spires around the edge, and are several meters high. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
  • NASA detected icy ridges on Pluto
 

A new research found that earth like ice and snow now exists on Pluto. The research involved a model that’s also used to predict earth’s weather and also observes physics of evaporating ices. The study published in the journal, Nature by York University's Professor John Moores, Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York's Lassonde School of Engineering

A new research found that earth like ice and snow now exists on Pluto. The research involved a model that’s used to predict earth’s weather and also observes physics of evaporating ices.

The study published in the journal Nature by York University's Professor John Moores, Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York's Lassonde School of Engineering.

Bowl shaped Penitents developed by erosion are very high. The research also showed that other planets with similar environments also may have these icy ridges. The research conducted in collaboration with researchers at NASA and Johns Hopkins University.

The ridges show that they were formed due to the existing atmosphere that wasn’t there before. Scientists believe that Penitents might be present in the solar system, said Moores.

The research team included Moores with his York postgraduate fellow, Dr. Christina Smith, Dr. Anthony Toigo, at the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University and NASA Research Astrophysicist, Dr. Scott D. Guzewich, at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA.

The team compared the model to ridges on Pluto captured by the New Horizons Spacecraft in 2015. Existing Pluto’s ridges are very large with a height of 500 meters and are separated by 3 to 5 km. After looking at their size, direction and separated distance, the scientists found them to be penitents.

Moores also said that Pluto’s environment is colder, with thin air, dim sun, and the ice is made from methane and nitrogen, instead of water like on earth.

NASA did the research with Johns Hopkins University and both provided background information on Pluto's atmosphere using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on Earth. 

These were the key features in Moores' own models of the penitents, without which this discovery would not have been possible.

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