Pluto Might Have A Liquid Ocean Under Its Surface, Beneath Sputnik Planitia

After some computer simulation, scientists have found that an Ocean exists under the icy crust of Sputnik Planitia, an area near the equator and around the size of Texas. The simulations made by scientist are showing that the gas hydrate insulating layer has helped the area to maintain the sea without freezing it.

The icy crust that has formed over the Ocean has been completed in one million years, but because of this gas hydrate insulating layer, the process has completed in one billion years.

The presence of that gas insulating layer beneath the ice surface could lead scientists to discover more Oceans in the Universe. Researchers from Japan’s Hokkaido University, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokushima University, Osaka University, Kobe University, and at the University of California, are making hypothesize about the insulating layer and its existence in the area of Sputnik Planitia.

Scientists are quite sure that there is a liquid ocean underneath the surface of Pluto

After NASA’s spacecraft, New Horizon has gathered data from Pluto, the measurements for Sputnik Planitia have been made: 1.300 km wide and 2.5 km deep elliptical basin. New Horizon spacecraft was the spacecraft that has gathered data about the nitrogen-ice basin and ammonia abundant water. On the other hand, scientists believe that the gas found in the insulating layer is methane from the rocky core of the planet.

This theory comes hand in hand with the composition of Pluto’s atmosphere that is poor in methane, and rich in nitrogen. The researchers are concluding that the gas hydrate insulating layers can maintain a long-lived subsurface of Oceans, and that means that the Universe could have more Oceans than we know about.

Finally, the data gathered with NASA’s New Horizons from Pluto, show the first close-up images of the planet and its moons, plus the ellipsoidal basin – Sputnika Planitia. Because of these images and data about the location and topography of Sputnik Planitia, the theories are that a subsurface liquid ocean exists on Pluto.

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About the Author: Emmy Skylar

Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News.  She covers politics and the economy.

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