Pluto Might Have a Liquid Water Ocean?! | SciShow News

Pluto Might Have a Liquid Water Ocean?! | SciShow News

[ INTRO ] Pluto might once have seemed like the last
place in the solar system to look for liquid water, given that its balmiest days peak around negative
two hundred twenty-five degrees Celsius. But ever since the New Horizons probe flew
by it in two thousand fifteen, scientists have been studying what they think
is Pluto’s underground ocean. Seriously! They think Pluto has an ocean! This hypothesis is based on various surface
features New Horizons observed four years ago — but even as the evidence piled up, it still
wasn’t obvious how Pluto had hung on to this liquid water for so long. Now, though, researchers think they might
have figured it out. On Monday, in a paper published in Nature
Geoscience, they announced that a layer of gas locked
in ice could be protecting Pluto’s underground water. If they’re right, this could help us understand
how a liquid ocean exists inside the dwarf planet — and how other icy bodies might be holding
onto hidden oceans of their own. After the New Horizons flyby, scientists started
to find a bunch of signs that Pluto might have an underground ocean — including how they saw light reflect off its
surface. Strangely, the light appeared to be bouncing
off crystals of ice. That was weird, because ice can only hold
its pretty, snowflake-like structure down to a certain temperature. When it gets really cold, ice molecules get
all amorphous. Not only that, but radiation from space also
destroys those crystals. So, scientists had lots of reasons not to
expect crystal ice on the surface of Pluto. But there it was. Eventually, they figured out that the crystals
were likely coming from underground water that was erupting to the surface. That might seem far-fetched, but later evidence
from other surface features backed up the idea that Pluto’s ocean was still liquid. For instance, if it had frozen, Pluto’s
surface would have buckled in recognizable ways. But there was no trace of that in the images. Using data from the New Horizons flyby, scientists
ultimately hypothesized that Pluto’s hidden ocean lay under a shell of ice that varied
in thickness. But they couldn’t figure out how a shell
like this could exist at the same temperature that would keep the ocean from freezing. They modeled lots of different scenarios—maybe
the ocean was insulated by a thick surface layer, or maybe it was full of molecules like ammonia
that act like antifreeze. There were lots of possibilities, but nothing
quite added up and matched the actual features they saw. But now, in this new paper, a team of scientists
has landed on a hypothesis that seems like it might work. They suspect that a layer of gas molecules
trapped in water ice is acting as insulation between the ocean and the outer shell. A material like this, called a gas hydrate,
forms when water molecules act like a cage that captures gas molecules. This can happen when liquid water begins to
freeze under high pressures and other special conditions. If the water has a high concentration of dissolved
gas, it can freeze into a gas hydrate instead of normal ice. At the border between Pluto’s ocean and
its heavy shell of ice, scientists think this just may have happened. They tested this hypothesis by modeling two
different versions of Pluto over time. One version had this gas hydrate layer, and
it kept its ocean and uneven ice shell as the dwarf planet evolved. The other version had no gas hydrate layer,
and the ocean froze over in just a few million years. That’s because gas hydrates conduct much
less heat than regular ice. Models suggest that it would only take a thin
layer of trapped gas— just several kilometers or so—to preserve
temperatures on either side that could explain both the liquid ocean and the uneven shape
of the icy shell. If this is the case, it might explain how
objects way out in the Kuiper Belt could support oceans, even though they’re billions of
kilometers from the Sun. Even though scientists will be analyzing data
from Pluto for a long time, New Horizons has moved on to new adventures! Most notably, on the first day of two thousand
nineteen, it whizzed past the icy body MU sixty-nine. It’s the most distant world a spacecraft
has ever visited, and last week, NASA published the first results from this
flyby in the journal Science. Now, this isn’t the first time the New Horizons
team has shared information about MU sixty-nine: In January, the icy rock made headlines for
looking like a couple of weird hamburgers. But this is the first peer-reviewed paper
with the scientists’ analyses. In their study, researchers tried to get to
the bottom of how this oddly-shaped body formed, by analyzing its shape and geological features. They think the two lobes formed separately
and fell into orbit around each other. Then, eventually, it seems those two rocks
came together and gently ran into each other. This little fender-bender created the stuck-together
hamburger situation, which scientists call a contact binary. But it’s not just its shape that makes MU
sixty-nine intriguing. For one, it has a bunch of small pits across
its surface. Some of the larger ones probably came from
impacts, but there are also some chains of smaller, similarly sized holes that scientists
think formed differently. They might have formed when frozen solids
turned to gas, or when material collapsed into spaces under the surface. At this point, it’s still a bit of a mystery,
but it’s one teams will keep looking into. MU sixty-nine is also, in the words of NASA,
“ultra-red.” It’s not quite as red as Mars, but the entire
surface has a red hue. That’s not totally bizarre, because observations
suggest that a lot of Kuiper Belt objects are reddish, but we don’t know exactly why. Researchers think the color could come from
molecules that break down from light and radiation— and then combine into heavier molecules that
are reddish in color. There are still a lot of open questions and
hypotheses to test, but fortunately, there’s still more information to come, since New Horizons will keep sending back
data on MU sixty-nine until late summer twenty twenty. In the meantime, the spacecraft will also
keep zooming through the Kuiper Belt, studying other objects from a distance. It may even get assigned another target. Regardless, scientists expect that the more
they learn about MU sixty-nine and Pluto, the more they’ll understand about how our
solar system formed. Because, in the end, studying weird rocks
in space is never just about those rocks. By exploring these frigid bodies billions
of kilometers away, we can learn about things like how our planets were born, or where the
solar system can support water — lessons from the edge of the solar system
that hit very close to home. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
Space News, which is produced by Complexly. We produce over a dozen shows, including PBS’s
Origin of Everything. Join Dr. Danielle Bainbridge as she explores
under-told histories and cultural dialogues. From the history of the laugh track to the
history of racial passing, no concept is too small or too complex for Danielle to tackle. Check out the Season 2 playlist in the description
below! [ outro ]


100 thoughts on “Pluto Might Have a Liquid Water Ocean?! | SciShow News”

  • SciShow Space says:

    Check out the playlist for season 2 of Origin of Everything!

  • Colleen Forrest says:

    Pluto: Look! I have a liquid ocean!
    Tyson: Sorry Pluto, you're still not a real planet.
    Pluto: What to I have to do for you people?

  • Scott Campbell says:

    If this is true, it has to be one of the wackiest things in the universe. What next? A planet made entirely of peanut butter?

  • Armie of One says:

    Such a planet was imagined by Dan Simmons in his novel Endymion.* I had to click this video, of course, having just finished it. 😀

    *In the book, though, it was a saline river trapped in a thick icy gas hydrate layer over the thin atmospheric gas.

  • What if in an alternate timeline, every other planet in our Solar System(including Pluto) besides Earth, along with our Moons, had also orbited in the Goldilocks Zone around the Sun and if they all have supported life, liquid water, oxygen, biomes, plants, animals, intelligent civilized species similar to us humans, 4 seasons, and if the Gas Giants were also Rocky Planets the same size as Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars? And if the Sun was the same size as Jupiter is now in our current timeline?

  • I always thought that the idea of our oceans of water being amassed from comets smashing into early Earth seemed a bit far fetched (which doesn't make it impossible, of course), but with this new info… now we have dwarf planet-sized objects potentially harboring huge amounts of protected water, too…. so…..
    I wonder if an updated hypothesis is in the works. It's also possible that I'm waaaaay behind the times as far as having heard the most recent theory on how the Earth's oceans filled with water. If that's the case and you know the most recent idea, please, LET ME KNOW!!

  • Pluto having an Ocean? This is quite old news a more apt title would be how Pluto kept its Ocean or Why Pluto has an Ocean

  • MU96 couldn't be red because of iron? I mean, aren't the majority of meteorites composed of iron? Meteorites are just smaller pieces of objects that had the possibility of coalescing into a planetoid. And haven't we determined that many of our planets contain large amounts of iron?

  • NeoN - Verse says:

    PLUTO: (Crying; 😉 They are not calling me "Planet" anymore😭😭😭
    1 (ONE): I know your pain bro.. They are not calling me "normal prime number" anymore..😥😢😢😤

  • Susan Caleca says:

    Hi I don't know if anyone has mentioned an ice cap on the moon . Would someone let me know. Is it also icy cold in space?

  • Pluto the planet says:

    😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍this is my pluto😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    I ❤ pluto

  • theparijat1000 says:

    Seriously, Mu 69. It just so happens that the name was given to something where two things came close together gently and stayed attached to each other. And this guy never talked about it..

  • Lol fake can planets be in a straight line like earth the third planet from the sun …yet Mars is 500 million miles up how is it in new Zealand or Australia u have to look up to see it ..yet they technically looking down do they look up to see all stars yet the sun is stationary lol lol all cgi photos yet the so called satilites are floating on unlimited gas lol lol all fake news

  • Odd, that's the first time I've seen someone mention MU69 without mentioning it's nickname, Ultima Thule, the names for each half.

  • Penpa Dhundup says:

    Science always gave fake inspiration. In fact, most of their hypothesis has proof very less. Rationaly speaking, eventhough mars or Pluto have contains water elements what it have to do with common people neither common people nor poor people could go there and establish new life. So romanticising on space science.

  • Grav Got Games says:

    Wow! A 2-part episode of what was the Star Blazers cartoon here in the 'States had a liquid sea on Pluto back in the 70's. Even as a kid I thought that was far fetched (even given the rest of the material…somehow…), and I guess it still is because it was depicted as a fully liquid equatorial sea, but still. Neat!

  • Daniel Chapiesky says:

    Gee… it has an ocean…. it has an atmosphere…. it isn't a moon… sounds like a freakin' planet to me….

  • Yeah, and i might win the Lottery next week you fuckin shrimp – get a fuckin life ! You'll be dead soon.

  • Leongon draws stuff says:

    We have probes sending data from astral bodies in the edge of the solar system. Meanwhile, some people down here are still fighting about the Earth being a flat plane inside a container.

  • Kimberly Lopez says:

    How long does it take for information collected by our space probes to reach back to earth? do we know information days,weeks,or months after the data has been initially collected?

  • I like how Pluto ended up looking like I imagined it.
    This thinking that liquid water oceans are everywhere is wishful thinking.

  • So Pluto has a Moon, a stable orbit, is big (relatively speaking), maybe has an ocean, but it's "not a planet"… Hmmkay

  • DarkbyDesign says:

    Awwww – it’s a solar love story!!! Two lonely, isolated and longing rocks just bumped into each other and the desolate void became filled with happiness.

    The story ends with baby meteorites and much void been filled by rock.

  • USA, Russia & China have a joint base on Pluto with aprox 10,000 people living there which is why pluto was changed from a planet status!!! Trump & Ping are arguing over the shore front property there but Putin already claimed 35% of the land and the other 65% was supposed to be divided evenly between USA & China but Ping bet 16% of Chinas land on a full boat but donnie was holding a straight flush. Then ping claimed Putin dealt off the bottom for donnie, now the whole thing is a mess and back on earth we are all paying for it!

  • Considering the tidal forces present in what is basically a binary planet system, liquid water under ice seems likely with Pluto. Charon, it’s biggest moon, is large enough that it’s own gravity has pulled it into a spherical shape.

  • Joanna Blueberry says:

    Guys if we find life on other planets…. wouldn’t that make us the aliens 👽? Especially if the life forms aren’t as advanced as ours… O_O

  • klaatu barada nikto says:

    So by late summer 2020 do you mean late February 2020 or December 2020? It couldn't be late August as that would be late Winter 2020.

  • 2019 and we still get artist renderings of these we have to color the object red.just let the viewers do it

  • mike KINDRED says:

    I heard somewhere that Pluto is out of place especially with his eccentric orbit and that how the Oddity with our solar system is that we don't have a super Earth or a gas giant near the sun that's approximately near or inside Mercury's orbit I think at one time because all the ancient ancestors of our said we had a different son that was Saturn or whatever so Saturn at one time could have been a red door and when it made its way out to where it is now maybe on its way out the Sun for another gas giant that was another red dwarf sucked all its energy out as long with would you put her maybe you like kind of piggy backed off each other and then when Saturn and Jupiter made their Journey to the outer solar system Pluto was once an inner planet maybe a small Moon Planet maybe or dwarf planet that was habitable and when Saturn and Jupiter migrated out it took Pluto with it maybe along with other planetary bodies that were habitable I mean if you read ancient literature ancient religion literature before how it became modernized there was much talk of a bunch of different Realms from the Pagan belief system every religion had numerous planets they spoke up that were habitable within our solar system so I think some catastrophic happened or whatever happened the shuffling of our solar system and everything migrated out word or you know Mars is Moon broke apart creating Olympus the biggest volcano on Mars which would definitely destroy everything on that planet when it erupted and we have an approximate dates but we really don't know when it did it could have erupted like that 12,000 years ago and the Ancients also speak of a different Moon that we used to have before our current Moon so for all we know Pluto could have been our moon and it could have been highly habitable Edwin the migration of the planets left like some ancient alien theorists say the Moon is hollow and it's a spacecraft that was put there to the stabilized balance out the orbit of the Earth so maybe just maybe when all this was going on they seen it for coming so they took a giant asteroid if they had advanced technology and made a hollow structure of metal Hollow structure and if a volcanic activity happened on a place like the moon spitting all the tire nor and heavy metals from the inside of the planet or a planet or moon to the surface this could more easily be done and we could have towed the moon into the orbit it is today and they say it's not a coincidence or is one in a trillion chance of how the orbit is around the Earth. So maybe ancient humans put the moon where it is to stabilize the balance in orbit of our Earth after to Planet migration I mean this also coincides with a bunch of mysteries that coincide with the same time and if you look at the geography of Earth if you look at the ancient crater impacts and Greenland that date back 12 to 15,000 years it coincides with all the flood stories that coincides with the pagans talking about how the old star we used to have went away and we got a new start the same thing with we had a old moon now we have a new moon during Ragnarok so I highly believe that Earth is pretty much the last planet standing in our solar system and that one time Venus was highly habitable Mercury could have been its Moon and I always had this hypothesis that it was and some scientist woman that's very smart I forgot her name had the same apostasy even before I heard about it I had that and then she created into a theory so that's even being explored and this would explain where the missing link comes from why we don't have one and all the different type of humans because we all came from different planets or different realms that's what they used to call it back in the day Realms are planets I guess and I think a lot of archaeologists and scientists use modern-day words to coincide and to understand the past but back then the word god could have meant something else you know all these words that we use nowadays that they translated they very well could have meant something else and the higher Glory Griff's the ancient writings all kind of point to that direction how you know 15,000 years ago we went through a bottleneck and then humans had to rebuild. so I think there's a lot left out of the story then we can't excavate or go to Venus an Explorer for more than an hour or so before the craft you know crumbles under the weight of the atmosphere but they were saying that NASA once said they had pictures of buildings or structures that used to be buildings on Venus. And they retracted the story and took it down from the internet took it down from search engines blocked off and kept it top secret and the NASA employee. That leaked it was fired. and I mean if the government did come out and say all this was true or similar to what I'm saying it would make everything in an uproar I mean it would unbalance everything so they wouldn't do it but ultimately I feel that they did do it it would bring you Manatee together cuz they would realize that Earth is the last place to go that we had many homes in many planets we can live on before and just like in the cosmic blink of an eye it went from say five planets that were habitable to just Earth I think people would be a lot more aware of humankind and a lot more compassion towards Humanity and how delicate this plan it is and that we have no other place to go I really think that this would ultimately even if it triggers Wars and riots and unrest in the beginning it would lead to the end of all wars and all hatred for other people and it would bring us closer together as a species knowing that Earth was a planet for refugees from four other planets that were once habitable there's a lot of Secrets and Mysteries that you know archaeologists can't come out and say which I think is really fishy and they want to keep a tight lid on it

  • MU69? Someone decided the descriptive mythological name Ultima Thule, given to this object by the person who found it was not PC. Because we know that all ancient greeks were actually undercover nazies. 🤦🏼‍♂️

  • Pluto is like that one kid in school who was a bullied outcast but got a glow up later in life and now everyone just wants to know everything about him/her

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