The Curiosity rover, which is designed to explore Mars, has found an ancient oasis on Mars. Researchers working with the Curiosity rover have found salt-enriched…
According to new study the Hubble Space Telescope has spotted new evidence of complex organic molecules, the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it , on the frigid surface of Pluto. Hubble observations revealed that some substances on Pluto‘s surface are absorbing more ultraviolet light than expected. According to researchers the compounds in question may well be organics, possibly complex hydrocarbons or nitrogen-containing molecules. The ultraviolet-absorbing chemical species may have been produced when sunlight or super-speedy subatomic particles known as cosmic rays interacted with these ices.
Dr Alan Stern of SWRI says that this is an exciting finding because complex Plutonian hydrocarbons and other molecules that could be responsible for the ultraviolet spectral features they found with Hubble may, among other things, be responsible for giving Pluto its ruddy color. The team also discovered evidence of changes in Pluto‘s ultraviolet spectrum compared to Hubble measurements dating from the 1990s. They used Hubble‘s powerful Cosmic Origins Spectrograph instrument to make the find.The changes could simply be because different terrains are now being seen, alternatively, they could be caused by other effects, such as changes in the surface related to a steep increase in the pressure of Pluto’s atmosphere during that same time span.
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