By 2030, Pluto’s atmosphere could freeze and disappear

Difficult fate in Pluto. In 2006, for its small size, it was deprived of the status of the planet, transferring it to the category of dwarf worlds (by the way, scientists still argue about this, and even offer to reconsider their decision), and now the upcoming atmospheric Armageddon is on the horizon. Exploring this small world, astronomers from the University of Tasmania (Australia) concluded that by 2030 the atmosphere of the planet could completely freeze and disappear. An article describing their findings will soon be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, but for now is in the repository

Astronomers have studied seasonal changes.Pluto's surface pressure using a coating technique. Coverage occurs when a single celestial body blocks light entering the Earth from a more distant celestial body. By observing how Pluto blocks light from distant stars, one can measure information about the density of the atmosphere, pressure and temperature.

"We were able to build seasonal models of Pluto andhow it reacts to changes depending on the amount of sunlight it receives, revolving around the sun. We found that when Pluto is furthest from the Sun, nitrogen freezes in its atmosphere, ”comments Andrew Cole of the University of Tasmania.

Pluto is the only world of the solar systemhaving a pronounced elliptical orbit. Because of this, the distance between the dwarf and the Sun is constantly changing, which significantly affects the seasons. On the surface of Pluto is quite cold, the temperature ranges from -228 to -238 degrees Celsius. Now, scientists have found that some seasons on a dwarf are colder than others, and so much so that the atmosphere, consisting mainly of nitrogen, freezes to such an extent that it literally falls on the surface of the planet, leaving a full vacuum. After such an imbalance and the unexpected arrival of a harsh winter, the surface of Pluto may not be ready, astronomers say.

Gravity and day length are alsoadversely affect the atmosphere of the planet, changing it by destructive force. Researchers note that over the past 30 years, the atmospheric pressure of Pluto has increased 3 times. Scientists' models show that most of the atmosphere will condense outside until almost nothing remains of it.

“Our forecasts suggest that by 2030, the entire atmosphere of the planet will completely freeze and disappear,” says Cole.

If this really happens, Pluto will becomelook different. Frozen nitrogen in the atmosphere would reflect more sunlight, so the dwarf will appear brighter in the sky. But the surface of the dwarf world will also undergo changes. The red-orange colors observed by the “New Horizons” mission on Pluto in 2015 will disappear under the nitrogen frost.

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