Science

Debunking Pluto’s ‘Syrupy’ Mysteries: Does It Really Hold The Answer To Alien Life?

By Sai , Dec 09, 2016 02:07 PM EST

Scientists have long been perplexed about Pluto's iconic frozen heart-shaped feature. Was it something built due to an ancient impact; was it closer to the dwarf planet's north pole, and does it have a subsurface ocean? And if a subsurface ocean exists, could it possibly host primitive or strange life forms.

A new research has claimed that Pluto's recently uncovered subsurface ocean could be home to alien life. The study has suggested that the ocean beneath the heart-shaped region of Pluto known as Sputnik Planitia is laden with ammonia.

Could Pluto Be Home To Aliens?

According to reports, the research has been based on data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and its July 2015 flyby of Pluto. In one of his statements revealed by Daily Mail, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, William McKinnon claimed that if by any chance Pluto holds exotic microbial life, it's almost certainly inside Pluto. The professor said that the ocean is rather noxious, very cold, salty and very ammonia-rich which is almost a syrup. It was found that New Horizons has allegedly detected ammonia asa compound on Pluto's big moon, Charon, and on one of Pluto's small moons.

Furthermore, in its report, Spaceflight Insider said that while life can tolerate high salt content, extreme cold, and extreme heat, most life forms cannot tolerate the amount of ammonia necessary to keep Pluto's ocean liquid. On the other hand, McKinnon has also revealed that it's definitely no place for germs, much less fish or squid, or any life as we know it. But as with the methane seas of Titan, which is known to be Saturn's main moon, it raises the question of whether some truly novel life forms could exist in these exotic, cold liquids.

Meanwhile, it was found that Professor McKinnon has also recently led a study on Sputnik Planitia's churning nitrogen ice surface that appeared this past June in the journal Nature. He believes that the study argues that the ocean uplift won't last if warm water ice can flow in the same way that glaciers move on Earth.

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