Pluto is an unusual object because it is mainly made up of ice and is even smaller than the Earth's Moon. Pluto's status as a dwarf planet has been the subject of much debate in the scientific community. Now an unusual theory has been proposed to explain how the ice world formed. According to the new method, Pluto consists of one billion comets, and the clues are in its chemical composition.
"We have developed what we call" the cosmochemical model of the Pluto Formation, "said Dr. Christopher Glein of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)." We found a striking coincidence between the estimated amount of nitrogen within the glacier and the amount that would be expected if Pluto were formed by the agglomeration of about one billion comets or other objects of the Kuiper Belt with a chemical composition similar to the 67P Comet Rosetta. "
Nitrogen is the main constituent of Pluto's atmosphere, although traces of methane and carbon monoxide have also been detected." The dwarf planet has a nitrogen-covered glacier called informally Sputnik Planitia. "The massive glacier formed the left lobe of the bright Tombaugh region. Using Pluto's surface and was rightly the focus of intense research, researchers used New Horizons data to estimate how much nitrogen and other chemicals are present in Pluto's atmosphere and surface, and how much could have entered space Nitrogen provided a complete picture of the composition of the dwarf planet.
"Our research suggests that Pluto's chemical composition, derived from cometary building blocks, was chemically modified by liquid water, perhaps even in an underground ocean. said Glein. "This research builds on the fantastic successes of the New Horizons and Rosetta missions to broaden our understanding of the origins and evolution of Pluto." Using chemistry as a tool of the detective, we are able to identify certain features that we see today on Pluto Tracing back long This leads to a new appreciation of the wealth of Pluto's "life story", which we are only now beginning to grasp. "