Scientists have identified ice volcanoes on the planet Pluto. According to Reuters, this discovery raises a lot of questions about how it is possible that the planet Pluto - a planet so small located at the border of the solar system - to be so active geologically.
More interesting information about Pluto was presented at a NASA meeting. Alan Stern, a paleontologist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said that scientists are amazed by the planet Pluto's system .
The New Horizons probe, the mission managed by Stern, on July 14 conducted an unprecedented overflight of the planet Pluto. In this way, New Horizons obtained important information, including images of two mountains on Pluto that are more than 161 km in diameter each and are a few kilometers tall. These mountains' top craters are opened, thus they resemble the volcanoes on Earth or the volcanoes from Mars. Oliver White, the New Horizons' mission specialist at the Ames Research Center said that he has never seen anything like this in solar system.
The volcanoes from Pluto erupt with frozen water or with nitrogen, ammonia or methane ice instead of throwing water. White added that the mountains on Pluto - whatever they may be - are truly bizarre. He said that the idea of the existence of active volcanoes on the planet Pluto may seem absurd, but it's the least absurd conclusion that researchers can draw about these features on Pluto.
Another interesting discovery of the New Horizons probe shows a number of deep fissures on the surface of Pluto. Most of these fissures cover an area of over 322 km and have a difference of 4 km between the upper part and the base. This is more than twice the height of the walls of the Grand Canyon on Earth.
According to White, the crust of planet Pluto went through a major expansion process in a certain moment from its geological history. This would explain why there are so many major fissures in that part of the planet Pluto.
According to scientists ,the heat needed to produce this phenomenon was provided by the natural decomposition of the radioactive elements from the core of the planet.