In our solar system, the mass of the sun accounts for 99.86% of the whole solar system, and the remaining 0.14% is divided up by eight major planets, 67 satellites, at least 500000 asteroids, dwarf planets and a small number of comets.
At present, the earth is the only celestial body known to exist life in the universe, and it is the home of millions of creatures.
Water is the source of life, because the earth is rich in water resources, coupled with magnetic field, atmospheric protection, making life so colorful.
There is no doubt that the planet with the most liquid water in the universe is the earth. If it includes solid water, is it the earth with the most liquid water?
Solid water is also called dry ice. It looks like an elastic colloidal body and has the characteristics of solid matter. Its water accounts for 98% of the whole. Compared with ordinary liquid water, it does not flow and evaporate at room temperature, and it will not freeze at 0 ℃ or melt at 100 ℃.
Not so. Although the earth looks like a big blue water ball from space, and the ocean area accounts for 70% of the total area of the earth, the water content on the earth is the reciprocal of the eight planets in the solar system. Isn’t it surprising!
Some scientists say that pumping out all the water from the earth and turning it into a sphere is less than half the diameter of the moon. Besides mercury, Venus and Mars, the water content of any other planet is higher than that of the earth.
Even Pluto, kicked out of its eight planets, has much more water than Earth.
Pluto discovers the underground ocean
In July 2015, NASA released a set of pictures of the close “meeting” between the “New Horizons” space probe and Pluto.
This image completely changed people’s view of the dwarf planet and other objects in the solar system with a cold outer surface.
Scientists call this huge heart-shaped plain covered with vast white nitrogen ice “Sputnik plain”, also known as “heart of Pluto”.
This “Pluto heart” is a basin formed after a comet impact in ancient times, and then the water in the underground ocean continuously gushed out and froze.
“Sputnik plain” is the largest glacial plain on the celestial body in the solar system formed by the strong convection of “nitrogen ice”, with a diameter of 1000 km.
This discovery led scientists to believe that Pluto has an underground ocean.
Because Pluto is so far away, the surface temperature is between – 238 ℃ and – 218 ℃. So as early as a billion years ago, the underground ocean should have been frozen, but at present it is not.
Why doesn’t Pluto’s underground ocean freeze and remain liquid?
Scientists speculate that there is a gas hydrate layer between Pluto’s surface and the underground ocean, which can separate Pluto’s underground ocean from the external low temperature, similar to the effect of heat preservation, so the ocean can remain liquid.
In order to verify this conjecture, Professor of Hokkaido University in Japan conducted a computer simulation, and the results were surprising.
If the computer assumes that this “gas hydrate layer” does not exist, then Pluto’s underground ocean will be completely frozen in just a few hundred million years.
But with this gas hydrate layer, Pluto’s underground ocean is still liquid.
So the guess of this layer is correct.
This layer of material can prevent heat from transferring to the deep underground, thus ensuring a certain low temperature environment on Pluto’s surface, and then can explain the ice thickness observed on Pluto’s surface.
Unfortunately, the composition of this “gas hydrate layer” has not been confirmed yet.
But what’s exciting is that other planets like Pluto may also have this phenomenon. And this discovery makes scientists more convinced of the existence of extraterrestrial life.
What do you think of that? Welcome to comment area.