Located 4.8 billion kilometers away from Earth, the icy planet became observable to scientists when it crossed paths with a star in 2018.
Reported from NASA, Saturday (9/10/2021), while moving in front of the stars, Pluto appears in the backlight, giving scientists a glimpse into the planet’s physical properties.
Research conducted by a group of scientists including many from the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI), claims that Pluto’s icy atmosphere is slowly dying out. They assessing Pluto using a telescope located in the United States and Mexico.
Pluto’s atmosphere, like that of Earth’s, is made of nitrogen and supported by icy vapor on the dwarf’s surface. Now, the ice is thickening. Thickening of the ice is caused by the distance between the Sun and Pluto, which has steadily increased in the last two and a half decades.
As Pluto becomes increasingly uninhabitable, the dwarf planet’s atmosphere refreezes and becomes part of its surface. As the temperature continues to drop, Pluto will get colder as time goes on changes in its orbit around the Sun.
When Pluto was closer to the Sun, it received more heat than it does now. But like all things in the universe, the heat dissipates. Because of this, the atmosphere will freeze and merge with Pluto’s surface, effectively disappearing.
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