Pluto's Icy Volcanoes!!
We've all heard of volcanoes on our globe that spews lava, and we've also heard of underwater volcanoes known as hydrothermal vents, but have you ever heard of ice volcanoes?
According to a recent study, a region of Pluto that experts believe was produced by the explosion of ice volcanoes is unique on the dwarf planet and in the solar system.
Pluto, a dwarf planet and the biggest object in the Kuiper Belt, was photographed in detail by NASA's New Horizons mission, which launched in 2006. A new investigation looks at photos of a region with two large mounds that experts believe are ice volcanoes. According to the findings, the surface around these mounds was most likely produced by the recent activity of ice volcanoes, or cryovolcanoes. The placing of frozen material by volcanic processes is known as cryovolcanism or ice volcanism.
The discovery suggests that these volcanoes may still be active and that liquid water, or something similar, flows or has recently flowed beneath Pluto's surface. The recent activity also suggests that Pluto's core has more heat than scientists originally believed. According to the scientists, these findings might potentially raise the prospect of life beneath Pluto's surface, based on another recent study.
Photographs of an area dominated by two huge mounds known as Wright Mons and Piccard Mons, which experts believe are cryovolcanoes, were studied by the researchers. Piccard Mons is around 4 miles (7 kilometers) high and 150 miles (250 kilometers) broad, whereas Wright Mons is 2.5 to 3 miles (4 to 5 kilometers) high and 90 miles (150 kilometers) wide.
Because much of Pluto's surface is made of ice and temperatures on Pluto are far below the freezing point of water, cryovolcanoes are similar to volcanoes on Earth in some ways. That means that liquid water, or anything like it which is at least somewhat fluid or mobile, would be like lava on Earth, rising to the surface after an eruption and freezing, or hardening, into a solid.
Though scientists aren't sure how Pluto's cryovolcanic activity works, scientists believe it is fueled by radiogenic heat produced by the disintegration of radioactive atoms in the dwarf planet's interior.