Pluto’s surprising geology features and other physical features are suggested to be due to ice flow geology, especially when geomorphology is (or has to be) used.
What do the latest scientific, geology, geophysicists theories coming from the NASA mission to Pluto suggest?
Can they help give clues for some Electric Geology features seen on other planets, moons or asteroids? Or with other EU theories on very different subjects? Or does it have no relevance to EU geology?
One thing that is being investigated on Pluto and also now on Mars is what could be termed as triple point geology. On Pluto and perhaps its other moons it is triple point geology of carbon monoxide and molecular nitrogen.
On planet Earth we appear to have most of our geology explained due to water triple point geology.
Pluto’s ice geology surprises
Dr Orkan Umurhan, a mathematical physicist on the New Horizons’ GGI Team (Geology and Geophysics Investigation) will be explaining in his blog posts about Pluto’s geology features and especially flow models.
They explained that the Pluto-Charon system is a place where we expect to see things we’ve never seen before, involving the behavior of ices and (possibly) fluids at temperatures and pressures that have not been adequately examined in the laboratory—nor have they been observed in any natural terrestrial system. Because this was going to be a fresh encounter with Nature, Alan and Jeff explained to me that they were determined to assemble as diverse a scientific team as possible, having a very wide spectrum of viewpoints and expertise on hand to interpret and debate the puzzling and weird things likely to be encountered.
As you probably know, Pluto has turned out to be a spectacular, awesome, active low temperature physics laboratory, full of conundrums and outright weirdness that has kept us all busy, fulltime.
Where Math Meets Pluto | NASA
What is triple point geology?
In hindsight, one wonders why we were so surprised. For instance, the triple point (the location on the temperature-pressure phase diagram in which a material can coexist as solid, liquid and gas) of both carbon monoxide and molecular nitrogen is in the vicinity of 63 Kelvin (- 346 Fahrenheit), a temperature that is achievable on Pluto, given its distance from the sun. We know from the Earth that when a system is near its triple point (as in the case of water), interesting phases can manifest, such as flowing water, glaciers and vapor. This is one of the reasons why the Earth and its surface morphology is such a cool place—no pun intended.
When we look at Pluto we see the informally-named Sputnik Planum (SP), which is probably a giant nitrogen ice sea, with a lot of methane and carbon monoxide to share the space. It has the texture of toothpaste and has flow timescales on the order of dozens of years. We see in the surrounding mountain ranges evidence of glacier ice flowing into the basin of SP. The ice within the plains appears to be undergoing so-called “solid-state convection,” the overturning of the ice layer because it’s warmer below than above, which causes it to buoyantly rise to the surface. We see perplexing textures that look like pits and worms on various parts of SP, a phenomenon possibly due to the strong sublimation of nitrogen or possibly even methane. We see globules of glacier ice that look like coagulated jelly in various locations near the glacier flows.
Where Math Meets Pluto | NASA
Key to understanding activity on Pluto is the role of the deep layer of solid nitrogen and other volatile ices that fill the left side of Pluto’s ‘heart’—a vast, 620-mile (1,000-kilometer) -wide basin, informally named Sputnik Planum. New numerical models of thermal convection within this ice layer not only explain the numerous polygonal ice features seen on Sputnik Planum’s surface, but indicate this layer may be up to a few miles thick. Evaporation of this nitrogen and condensation on higher surrounding terrain leads to glacial flow back toward the basin; additional numerical models of nitrogen ice flow show how Pluto’s landscape has been and is still being transformed.
New Findings from NASA’s New Horizons Shape Understanding of Pluto and its Moons | NASA
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