What Are These Bizarre Polygons That Can Be Found On Pluto?

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Although Pluto was “retroverted” from the definition of planet in 2006, the celestial body continues to be studied by scientists. The nano planet is geologically alive and in 2015 astronomers identified a very curious feature on its surface: ice polygons.

A new study indicates that a process called “sublimation” is under way. Nitrogen ice froze directly from the steam, rather than going through a liquid state. This gave the frozen structure its bizarre shape first seen by the NASA New Horizons probe. Not only that: New Horizons also found that Pluto could have a deep ocean.

“Pluto is still geologically active despite being far from the Sun and having limited internal energy resources,” said Adrien Morison, researcher at the University of Exeter and main author of the study. Experts have studied Sputnik Planitia, a geological region of the Pluto surface, where surface conditions allow gaseous nitrogen in its atmosphere to coexist with solid nitrogen.

In the study scientists thanks to numerical simulations have managed to say that, when nitrogen on Pluto cools during sublimation within the Sputnik Planitia region, it will produce polygons consistent with the size and the topographic amplitude seen in the This sublimation began about 1/2 million years ago and the same geological process can occur in other frozen worlds around the Solar System.

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