NASA: Life Could Possibly Exist on Pluto, Not Just Mars

NASA: Life Could Possibly Exist on Pluto, Not Just Mars Clapway

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has given the world a new image of Pluto that suggests that there could be life on the dwarf planet if not on Mars as well. The picture has an X mark that is shaking all of the astronomy community.

Life on Pluto 1 Clapway

Pluto vs. Mars: Which is More Tempting to NASA?

New Horizons LORRI gives us surprising footage of Sputnik Planum. The area, which is at a lower elevation than the surrounding region by a few miles, isn’t totally flat. The surface is separated into cells 10 to 25 miles wide. When seen with low sun angles, the cells have slightly raised centers and margins with ridges. There are about 100 yards in height variation throughout the area.

Pluto Nitrogen Makes the Planet a Huge Lava Lamp

Certain scientists believe that this pattern of cells comes from the thermal convection of the ices in Sputnik Planum. These ices are nitrogen-dominated and can be up to several miles deep in certain spots. The nitrogen is warm in Pluto’s core, and it eventually rises up in blobs and the process is repeated. Essentially, it behaves like a lava lamp.

Some models by the team supervising New Horizons say that these blobs of nitrogen can evolve and merge throughout millions of years. One of these margins was marked with an X by the team. It is a former four-way junction where four cells me. There are other three-way active junctions that can be seen in the LORRI mosaic.

Is Pluto The Next Big Mission?

It took nine years for New Horizons to get to Pluto and signs of life could lure us there really soon. While Mars is NASA’S big target, for now, more of these findings could give us serious knowledge of alien life. As more and more footage gets back to Earth from the space probe, we could even find the real nature of the evolution of life. It’s all a matter of waiting and seeing for now, though. NASA is already struggling with its Martian ambitions and their strict budget. Other international space agencies, like Roscosmos, CNAS and ESA, have their eyes set on the moon. Their goal is to build a colony on the satellite. Pluto might just have to wait for now.