In 2015 the world is impressed by photos of a huge “heart” on the surface of Pluto. Now planetary scientists have found out that it gives the atmosphere of a celestial body is unique to Solar system motion.

Achievement is described in a scientific paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

the structure of the heart-shaped was photographed by the probe “New horizons” (New Horizons). It is called a tombo. Unofficially it is often referred to as the “heart of Pluto”.

Her left side – plain Satellite. It is lowland with a width of about 1,000 kilometers (for comparison: the length of the equator of a small planet is less than 7500 kilometers). Plain about three kilometers below the average surface of Pluto. This basin holds a large part of nitrogen ice on the surface of the celestial body. Right as part of the “heart” includes the mountain range, too, however, rich with nitrogen glaciers.

meanwhile, the atmosphere of Pluto, which is a million times thinner than earth’s, is composed almost entirely of nitrogen (with small amounts of carbon monoxide and methane). Astronomers decided to check the interaction between a solid and a gaseous nitrogen that is far from the Sun of the world.

To do this they simulated the atmospheric circulation of Pluto in three years, using data mined New directions. The results surprised many astronomers.

So, according to the calculations of researchers, day the sun’s rays evaporate some of the nitrogen, and at night it refreezes. As the Sun rises in the East, at a height of over four kilometers, formed powerful winds blowing from East to West. This situation persists for most part of the year.

the winds – the prevailing movement of gas in the atmosphere of a small planet. That is, it actually rotates from East to West, toward the rotation of the Pluton. Anywhere in Solar system astronomers do not see such phenomena, except, maybe, Neptune’s moon Triton (and it is only a hypothesis).

in addition, the model suggests that forcescovered surface winds along the Western border of the plain of the Satellite. Interestingly, there astronomers have observed a dark elongated structure. Experts have suggested that they can be generated by constant winds, and offered a number of possible mechanisms for this.

“the Plain Companion may be as important to the climate of Pluto as the ocean on the Earth’s climate,” – concludes the first author of the study Bertrand Tanguy (Tanguy Bertrand) from the Ames Research center of NASA.

By the way, before “News.Science” wrote about mapping the topography of Pluto and what’s underneath may be hiding liquid water.

Text: To.Science