It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Ammonia on Pluto’s surface in a region of geologically recent tectonism

page: 1
8

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 10:13 AM
link   

Abstract

We report the detection of ammonia (NH3) on Pluto’s surface in spectral images obtained with the New Horizons spacecraft that show absorption bands at 1.65 and 2.2 μm. The ammonia signature is spatially coincident with a region of past extensional tectonic activity (Virgil Fossae) where the presence of H2O ice is prominent.

Ammonia in liquid water profoundly depresses the freezing point of the mixture. Ammoniated ices are believed to be geologically short lived when irradiated with ultraviolet photons or charged particles. Thus, the presence of NH3 on a planetary surface is indicative of a relatively recent deposition or possibly through exposure by some geological process.

In the present case, the areal distribution is more suggestive of cryovolcanic emplacement, however, adding to the evidence for ongoing geological activity on Pluto and the possible presence of liquid water at depth today.


Detection of ammonia on Pluto’s surface in a region of geologically recent tectonism

Ammonia has been detected on Pluto for the first time. If the interpretation of the multi-spectral images is correct, it is a pretty interesting discovery. Ammonia can be destroyed by UV radiation and ion bombardment. The presence of ammonia on the surface suggests that the surface is relatively young or renewed. There is a lot of other evidence for this in the New Horizons spacecraft's images.



Ammonia also dramatically lowers the freezing point of water. This could mean that Pluto has liquid water under the surface. There is evidence that Pluto may have spewed organic-rich water from volcanoes.

Finding ammonia on the surface could just mean the ammonia is in a different chemical form that is longer lasting. Ammonia has been found on the ancient surfaces of Pluto's moons (yes I still regard Pluto as a planet). There is no proof yet that there is or ever was life on Pluto, but this is some possible evidence toward that point.



If life does exist or has existed on Pluto I believe there is something missing we don't know or understand. It is hard to beleive life could exist at the current temperatures believed to exist at Pluto.


The average surface temperature on Pluto is 44 Kelvin (-229 Celsius or -380 Fahrenheit).


Temperature of Pluto




posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 10:26 AM
link   
a reply to: LookingAtMars

I wonder what is driving the tectonic activity on a planet so far out , yeah I too still consider Pluto a planet.

Cryovolcano's are the coolest things and probably the way we will discover evidence for life beneath the surface of our icy Solar System moons , we just need to go looking for it.




posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 11:10 AM
link   
a reply to: LookingAtMars

TIL that pluto smells like cat piss.



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 11:16 AM
link   
a reply to: Woodcarver

That's better than what I am told Uranus smells like



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 11:23 AM
link   

originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: Woodcarver

That's better than what I am told Uranus smells like


1000 stars



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 11:26 AM
link   

originally posted by: gortex
a reply to: LookingAtMars

I wonder what is driving the tectonic activity on a planet so far out , yeah I too still consider Pluto a planet.

Cryovolcano's are the coolest things and probably the way we will discover evidence for life beneath the surface of our icy Solar System moons , we just need to go looking for it.



That is a good question. I would guess temperature changes and / or gravitational forces. It could be something unknown that helps account for the indications of possible life on such a cold planet.

I agree we should be sending missions to investigate cryovolcanos on some select planets.



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 11:50 AM
link   
a reply to: LookingAtMars

Organic would mean life of some kind. NH4 and H20 or any possible byproducts of these do not produce Carbon atoms.



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 11:52 AM
link   

originally posted by: gortex
a reply to: LookingAtMars

I wonder what is driving the tectonic activity on a planet so far out , yeah I too still consider Pluto a planet.

Cryovolcano's are the coolest things and probably the way we will discover evidence for life beneath the surface of our icy Solar System moons , we just need to go looking for it.



Maybe that planet we keep hearing that isn't out there called X is influencing the inner solar system. Who knows maybe we are a binary star system and the other one has flamed out?

ETA

I am still very skeptical but for those that think so on X this helps that theory. This type of thing goes in the Column of evidence of a possible X that is big and having some affect on the other planets in this system.

edit on 1-6-2019 by Justoneman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 12:17 PM
link   
NH4+ is Pyramidal in shape as is a Carbon Atom skeleton of organic molecules (an example is the classic Diamond in the classic shape is consisting of pure Carbon); in NH4 there is an extra Hydrogen right where a pair of the N electrons would have been, Carbon has 4 empty locations for each of it's 4 pairs of electrons to fill the second orbital allowing a fit of the 4 Hydrogen that has 1 empty slot in it's electron pair.

H

H -N- H
/
H

H2O; The other two locations have a completed set of paired electron. That makes it easy for water to donate it's electrons and be a nearly universal solvent.

H H
/
O

ETA the post won't show the nice shapes I typed in , just wipes them out
But i digress....

edit on 1-6-2019 by Justoneman because: (no reason given)



edit on 1-6-2019 by Justoneman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2019 @ 12:21 PM
link   
I show I just watched explains that Neptune's atmosphere rains actual diamonds, in perpetuity.




posted on Jun, 2 2019 @ 09:27 AM
link   

originally posted by: LookingAtMars

If life does exist or has existed on Pluto I believe there is something missing we don't know or understand. It is hard to beleive life could exist at the current temperatures believed to exist at Pluto.


It may be not something we are missing or don't understand.

We have an understanding of a process that potentially could heat the interior of Pluto enough for a liquid water ocean to exist under the surface, and the process that might be heating the interior of Pluto is the same process that heats the interior of Earth -- radioactive decay.

There are other minor factors that causes the interior of earth to be heated, such as gravitational forces, but most of the Earth's interior heat -- up to 90% of it -- is created through the decay of radioactive materials, and not heating that is powered by the sun.

The same could be true for Pluto, meaning Pluto's distance from the Sun would have little to do with how hot or cold Pluto's interior and core might be. The issue with Pluto is that it may be too small to have enough radioactive material for that heat to persist today. There are ideas for how internal heat on Pluto could be circulated back into the interior rather than radiated into space. However, that's still not known for sure and as you said, there might be some things we don't understand.

But the bottom line is that the distance from the Sun is not a major issue for interior heating.

As for life, there are examples of life on Earth that seemingly have no dependence on sunlight. There are tubeworms and other creatures living deep in the ocean where no sun and almost no ocean nutrients can reach. These creatures live by hydrothermal vents powered by the Earth's internal heat caused by radioactive decay, and live on the minerals and energy of those vents.


edit on 6/2/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2019 @ 10:12 AM
link   
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Thank you for that interesting information about radioactive decay. I never realized that is where most of Earth's heat comes from.

Radioactive Decay Fuels Earth's Inner Fires


A main source of the 44 trillion watts of heat that flows from the interior of the Earth is the decay of radioactive isotopes in the mantle and crust. Scientists using the KamLAND neutrino detector in Japan have measured how much heat is generated this way by capturing geoneutrinos released during radioactive decay.


I do know it is true that life does not need the Sun. There is plenty of life living in the Earth that has never used the energy of the Sun.



new topics

top topics



 
8

log in

join