Pluto is slowly losing its atmosphere – Space
Pluto’s already thin atmosphere consists mostly of nitrogen and small amounts of methane and carbon monoxide. As Pluto’s surface temperature drops, nitrogen freezes, causing the planet’s atmosphere to slowly disappear.
These observations were made using what is called astrology, or process, when what is happening on a planet is observed using the light of a distant star. It’s a proven and widely used technique in astronomy, the Science Alert website writes.
Occultists have used it since 1998 to study changes in Pluto’s atmosphere. In 2015, the New Horizons probe provided an excellent Pluto atmospheric density profile, showing that Pluto’s atmosphere doubles every ten years. Planetary scientist Eliot Young said:
Pluto’s atmosphere is the result of ice evaporating from the planet’s surface. The largest known nitrogen glacier is the Sputnik Plain.
Pluto currently takes 248 Earth days to revolve around the Sun. At its closest point, Pluto is 30 astronomical units closer to the Sun. One astronomical unit is the distance from the Sun to the Earth.
This distance is now increased when Pluto steals sunlight, which in turn lowers the temperature on the planet’s surface.
Pluto is a dwarf planet of great interest to astronomers. New information about this remote object is constantly being obtained. Scientists have discovered in recent years that there are snow-capped mountains on Pluto and liquid oceans beneath the planet’s surface. These results allow scientists to better understand how Pluto’s atmosphere works.
The new study was published in the scientific journal “Annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.”