Pluto’s Temperature: When the New Horizons probe arrived at Pluto in 2015, it revealed the true Nature of the dwarf planet. Pluto may be a frozen mass, but it’s a strange and exciting mass.
Pluto has a heart-shaped ice cap that could theoretically hide an ocean. For no apparent reason, Pluto emits her X-rays. When New Horizons measured Pluto’s temperature, the dwarf planet was colder than anyone expected.
The Earth-based instruments measured Pluto at minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (-173 degrees Celsius). However, New Horizons showed that Pluto’s thermostat remains at 330 degrees Fahrenheit (-201 degrees Celsius).
Pluto makes the coldest place on Earth look relatively calm: In 2013, researchers found that a NASA satellite recorded a record cold temperature of minus 135.8 degrees Celsius (-93.2 degrees Celsius) over Antarctica. Announced.
You’d think Pluto would be cool. The dwarf planet drifts down the back roads of the solar system an average of 3.67 billion miles (5.9 billion kilometers) from the Sun. Earth is 40 times closer to our planet
Pluto is Small
Without a firm footing, its atmosphere escapes into space. Pluto’s thin atmosphere made it very difficult to estimate its temperature from Earth, says Xi Zhang, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Pluto is not so far absent that sunlight does not affect the chemicals in its atmosphere. Instead, researchers suspect that the Sun’s ultraviolet light breaks down nitrogen, methane, and other gases in Pluto’s atmosphere, creating a veil of solid particles.
“The images from New Horizons showed a lot of haze particles,” Zhang said.
Zhang and his colleagues argue that Pluto’s hazy envelope explains why the dwarf planet is icy in a report published this week in the journal Nature.
According to Zhang, Pluto’s haze is so abundant that it can absorb a lot of solar radiation, but there are many uncertainties about this complex atmospheric chemistry.
“We don’t know the exact composition of haze particles,” he said.
Atmosphere – Pluto’s Temperature
It remains known that smog is beginning to form in Pluto’s atmosphere hundreds of miles up. Gases condense into particles. Particles fall, and chain-like paratrooper formations – except the chemical clusters do not break before landing.
New Horizons has discovered a thick layer of hydrocarbon particles called thrins that stain Pluto’s surface red. Importantly, turbidity particles are much larger than gas molecules. It means that the turbidity has significant heating and cooling capacity.
Zhang and his colleagues found that the net effect is cooling in modeling heat transfer through Pluto’s atmosphere. It is because the haze absorbs solar energy and radiates it into space. It is like sweat that dissipates body heat.
Previous hypotheses suggested that gaseous hydrogen cyanide was the coolant. But a recent probe from Pluto found too little gas, Zhang said. Water vapor could also cool Pluto, but Zhang said that possibility was doubtful given the enormous amount of water vapor required.
In a comment published in Nature, Robert West, an expert on planetary atmospheres at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, called the conclusion “remarkable.” But West also writes that “the case for our understanding of Pluto’s atmospheric temperature is far from over.”
The authors’ models of this study show that Pluto’s smog radiates heat into space in the infrared spectrum. Researchers can answer within two years. After that, the James Webb Telescope, an observatory scheduled to launch in 2019, will have the right equipment. “This may be the best telescope we’ve ever built,” said Zhang.
When the Webb telescope remains pointed at Pluto, it becomes clear whether the dwarf planet is sweating in the infrared.
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