“Heart” of Pluto appeared as a result of falling of a meteorite


Because of falling into place where now there is the well-known glacier in the form of heart, a huge meteorite Pluto turned over and cracked. Planetologists from the different countries in several publications which were published in the Nature magazine tell about it.

“Every year, when Pluto finishes the travel around the Sun, thickness of nitric ice gradually grows by the surfaces of his “heart”. Once, when ice collected hundreds of meters, this structure began to influence all form of the planet, thereby defining in what party its axis is turned. Finally, through several million years, “heart” turned all planet” — James Keane from university of Arizona in Tucson (USA) declared.

The first the unusual detail of a plutonovsky relief was found by the New Horizons spacecraft in June of last year. The area which received the name “plain of the Satellite” had the heart form. It became clear later that “heart” of Pluto is a puff water pie and the frozen nitrogen, and it strongly influences distribution of weight on the dwarf planet.

The plain of the Satellite is unusual from the point of view of geology the fact that it is on that side of the dwarf planet which always “looks” at Charon, the largest satellite of Pluto. It means that the mass of that part of Pluto where there is his “heart”, is much more, than the mass of other parts of the planet as otherwise Pluto would be turned to Charon by other side. Besides, unusually low density of plains says that they have to be not on the equator, and on poles or on the opposite side of Pluto.

Kean and his colleagues assume that the modern position of plains of the Satellite is explained by the fact that far back in the past formation of this “heart” led to scale reorganizations in geology and geometry of the planet. They came to such conclusion, having constructed the computer model of “circulation of substances” on Pluto describing evolution of the planet for tens and hundreds of millions years.

The matter is that recently scientists noticed that the difference of temperatures between dark and light sites of a surface of Pluto, and also lowlands and heights is so big that the nitrogen and carbon monoxide making a basis of the atmosphere of the dwarf planet will evaporate on light heights and to turn into ice in cold and dark lowlands.

Modeling this process, Kean’s team noticed that gradually nitric ice will accumulate gradually in the plains of the Satellite which arose several billions years ago as a result of falling of a huge asteroid and formation of almost five-kilometer funnel at vicinities of the North Pole of Pluto.

After a while in situ dredging there was peculiar “hump” from ices which began to pull the planet down, towards its equator. As a result of it the spin axis of the planet was smoothly displaced by nearly 60 degrees, and the former polar crater turned into the “heart” of Pluto located almost at its equator. This driving led to a set of reorganizations in climate of Pluto, and also generated the mass of cracks in its surfaces which can be found in pictures with New Horizons.

The spin axis of Mars in the past was similarly displaced — the birth of the huge volcanic plateau of Farsid displaced an axis of the red planet almost by 30 degrees about 3,5 billion years ago, and also caused mass volcanic eruptions which as some planetologists consider today, could melt ice of Mars and make it temporarily manned.

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