February 27, 2020

Frozen nitrogen heart beats on Pluto

Scientists at the US space agency NASA claimed in a new study that Pluto’s heart was beating. By heart means a structure made of frozen nitrogen on this planet that is shaped by the heart. Scientists have reported that this structure controls the circulation of air on this planet. As a result, features can also flourish on the surface of this planet. This heart-shaped structure is known as ‘ Tombaugh Regio.’ The New Horizons mission of NASA uncovered this structure on Pluto in 2015. Scientists studied it and said it wasn’t a barren place.

The study published in the journal ‘Geophysical Research’ states that it is the nitrogen heart that determines the flow of air in this planet. According to the researchers, such findings indicate similar and distinct characteristics between the Earth and this dwarf planet located billions of miles away. Nitrogen gas is an element found in the air on Earth. It is present in the atmosphere of Pluto with small amounts of carbon monoxide and greenhouse gas methane. Researchers have said that this nitrogen, which is frozen in the shape of the heart, is heated during the day and turns into a thin surface of vapor. At night, the vapor condenses and freezes again like ice. This process is like a heartbeat, according to the researchers. In this process, nitrogen spreads and shrinks around the planet. New studies suggest that this process causes the atmosphere of Pluto to rotate in the opposite direction of the planet. This unique phenomenon is called retro-rotation.

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