CANADA: Recent pictures from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft show that two icy volcanoes may be located close to south pole of Pluto. However these volcanoes appear to be suspicious and they are going to be under the scanner, says Jeff Moore, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
You have been forewarned. NASA says that they do not have ample evidence about the presence of volcanoes on Pluto and would refrain to make any such announcement.
New Horizons team spotted possible volcanoes when putting together a topographic map of Pluto. The map shows the deep depressions and elevations on the surface of Pluto and does so in three dimensions. The two mountains, Piccard and Wright are broad, being a minimum of 160 kilometres wide, and have large craters at the top.
These dips look similar to the volcanoes on Earth where the top of the volcano slopes much after the lava flows out.
The pictures show circular shaped mountains that have depression in them. Wright Mons and Piccard Mons are the names of these two volcanoes and they are 3 to 5 kilometres high respectively, whereas the other one is almost 6 kilometres high. Both these volcanoes look similar to icy volcanoes, called cryovolcanoes.
Cryovolcanoes have been spotted on Neptune’s moon Triton and more frozen celestial objects. Contradictory to hot lava on Earth’s volcanoes, these cryovolcanoes are fueled by ice.