Combining data obtained from multiple sources, scientists have managed to unravel the mystery behind Pluto’s moon Charon Red Hat and its composition. NASA’s interplanetary space probe New Horizons captured the red region at the top of Charon in 2015 and collected data. After the encounter, scientists quickly speculated that the thorin-like substances on Pluto’s moon could be synthesized by breaking down methane molecules. UV rays.

Now, however, scientists at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) have combined data from the New Horizons mission, exospheric modeling and laboratory experiments to characterize the erythema and further elucidate its origin.

“Prior to New Horizons, the best Hubble images of Pluto showed only a blurred blob of reflected light. In addition to all the fascinating features found on Pluto’s surface, the flyby revealed an unusual feature of Charon, an object with the north pole. Surprisingly red hat at the center,” said Randy Gladstone, a member of the New Horizons Science team at SwRI.

Thorins at the red dot to escape from Pluto’s surface and freeze over as they reach Charon’s during long winter nights. These are basically sticky organic residues that are the result of chemical reactions driven by light.

“Our findings suggest that dramatic seasonal fluctuations in Charon’s thin atmosphere, along with light from decomposing condensed methane frosts, are key to understanding the origins of Charon’s Red Pole,” said lead author Dr Ujjwal Raut of SwRI. Say. Advances in Science.

In this study, the team replicated the conditions on the Charon surface at SwRI’s new laboratory, the Center for Astrophysics and Space Science Experiments (CLASSE). They analyzed the composition and color of hydrocarbons produced in Charon’s winter hemisphere and fed the data into the new Charon model. This helped them show how methane breaks down into residues in Charon’s Arctic. According to Raut, their “dynamic photolysis” experiments provide information on the role of interpolated Lyman-alpha in the of the Charon red material.

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After conducting their experiments, the researchers used a model to estimate the distribution of complex hydrocarbons that arise during the decomposition of methane under ultraviolet light. “We think ionizing radiation from the solar wind breaks down the Lyman-Alpha cooked polar frost to synthesize increasingly complex, redder material, leading to the unique albedo on this mysterious moon,” Lauter said. Because ethane is less volatile than methane, it remains frozen on Charon’s surface long after sunrise in spring, he added. “Exposure to the solar wind may convert ethane into persistent reddish surface deposits that form Charon’s red cap,” Lauter said.


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