Whether you want to consider Pluto a planet or not, we all have to admit that the cosmic object is a goldmine for science. Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA himself, is one of the most resounding voices claiming that Pluto should be considered a planet again.
NASA sent the New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto several years ago, and it made some close-up observations of the cosmic object in 2015. The new data gathered by the spacecraft is giving even more work to do for scientists, who began to wonder what could be the culprit for the formation of the icy mountain tops from Pluto.
Methane is the main component of Pluto’s snow
Things often don’t have to follow the same pattern on other cosmic objects as they do on Earth. The same applies to the snow on Pluto. Although the snow as we all know it is made of water, making a snowman on Pluto wouldn’t be just as fun. The dwarf planet’s snow is made of methane, according to an international team of scientists led by the French National Centre for Scientific Research.
The methane from Pluto proves that it can behave as water vapor does on Earth. Tanguy Bertrand, who is the lead author of the new study and a member of NASA’s Ames Research Center, says:
“Pluto is very interesting because there are many landscapes that remind us of Earth, sometimes much more than any other planet in the Solar System,
“Despite the fact that they have similar landscapes, there’s still plenty of dynamical processes in space that we don’t know about.”
He also stated:
“We wanted to know if Pluto’s atmosphere behaves the same as Earth’s atmosphere,”
The new findings were detailed in the journal Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18845-3
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