Astronomers Discover Ice Volcanoes on Pluto

Astronomers Discover Ice Volcanoes on Pluto

Probably the biggest mystery surrounding Pluto is whether it should be considered a planet again or not. There are numerous voices claiming that Pluto should indeed be officially recognized again as the ninth planet of our Solar System. 

But until we dive into that subject once again, it’s time for new interesting insight into the remote space object. Peaks from the dwarf planet’s surface that were discovered by NASA in 2015 have puzzled astronomers a lot. 

7000-metres tall ice volcanoes are present on Pluto

According to The Guardian, scientists studying carefully images and topographical data concluded that the “peaks” are nothing more than a merger of many volcanoes existing on Pluto. Some of those volcanoes are believed to measure a maximum of 7000 meters in height.

Dr. Kelsi Singer, who’s a New Horizons co-investigator, declared as The Guardian quotes:

I will freely admit we do not have a lot of information about what’s going on in the subsurface of Pluto,

But this is forcing people to come up with some creative ideas for how [ice volcanism] could happen.

At first, scientists were hesitant to call the structures “volcanoes.” Here’s what Singer said, as the same source quotes:

It’s considered kind of a big claim to have icy volcanism,

It’s theoretically possible, but there aren’t a tonne of other examples in the solar system, and they are all really different looking, and do not look like the features on Pluto.

After many images arrived since 2015, it all became clear that there are indeed volcanoes on Pluto.

Pluto is located at 39 AU from the Sun, meaning 39 times the distance between our star and Earth. At such a distance, it’s obvious that Pluto is a frozen world that cannot benefit from the heat of the Sun.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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