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Ocean Underneath Pluto's 'Icy Heart' Could Be Holding 'Exotic' Alien Life, A New Study Suggests

Dec 05, 2016 06:34 AM EST
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New horizons flyover of Pluto

Pluto may have been demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet yet it has remained as an interesting object from the Kuiper Belt. Aside from the discovery of a potential ocean beneath its 'icy heart', a new study suggests that the ocean deposit may actually contain alien life.

It has long been argued that there could be vast ocean underneath Pluto's icy heart. And when there is the presence of water, may it be in liquid or solid state; questions of alien life always trail behind.

It was also discovered that Pluto is expanding and this lead to more proof that there is indeed an ocean underneath the icy surface of the dwarf planet, according to a report. Because of this, many other studies are looking into the possibility of not just the oceans, but the exotic life that it could potentially hold.

NASA's New Horizons conducted a scientifically successful flyby to Pluto in 2015. After the flyby, New Horizons was granted a mission extension to investigate another mysterious object in the Kuiper belt. Based on the study led by scientists from the Washington University, the ocean underneath Sputnik Planitia in Pluto is loaded with ammonia and that they may contain a primitive form of alien life.

The ocean underneath Pluto is said to be 600 miles wide and about 50 miles thick. Although the researchers believe that there might be life on the ocean, it is different from the ones that people know about, instead of some form of life that humans may not be able to recognize just yet.

"It's no place for germs, much less fish or squid, or any life as we know it," he added. "But as with the methane seas on Titan-Saturn's main moon-it raises the question of whether some truly novel life forms could exist in these exotic, cold liquids," William McKinnon professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University said in a statement.

McKinnon believes that the study of the ocean underneath Pluto's icy heart might lead to the discovery of some 'exotic' alien life form on the Kuiper belt. And he also believes that if Pluto has a subsurface ocean, other objects in the region may also have the same formations. Interestingly, according to the new study, the ocean underneath Sputnik Planitia in Pluto is also very different from the oceans on Earth.

However, the study also says that the theories they have presented are "references" and not yet "direct detections". This means further investigations have to be conducted in order to negate or confirm the references.

 

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