Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Home Science & Technology Dwarf planet Ceres hosts an unexpectedly young cryovolcano, says NASA’s Dawn mission...

Dwarf planet Ceres hosts an unexpectedly young cryovolcano, says NASA’s Dawn mission images

The cryovolcanic formation on Ceres is named Ahuna Mons

Washington, September 2, 2016 :  The dwarf planet Ceres hosts an unexpectedly young cryovolcano, analysis of images from NASA’s Dawn mission has revealed. Instead of molten rock, salty-mud volcanoes, or Cryovolcanoes, release frigid, salty water sometimes mixed with mud. The cryovolcanic formation on Ceres is named Ahuna Mons.

“Ahuna Mons is evidence of an unusual type of volcanism, involving salty water and mud, at work on Ceres,” said study lead author Ottaviano Ruesch of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Universities Space Research Association in Washington, DC. ”Geologic activity was discussed and debated among scientists: now we finally have observations testifying to its occurrence,” Ruesch noted.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Although the volcano is not active now, the team was surprised that it appears geologically recent. Young volcanism on an isolated dwarf planet is a surprise, as usually only planets, or satellites orbiting around them, have volcanism.  Also, volcanic eruptions require bodies to be rocky, like Earth or Mars, or icy, like Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Ceres is made of salts, muddy rocks and water ice: exotic and unexpected ingredients for volcanism. Ahuna Mons on Ceres indicates such physical and chemical limitations to volcanism are only apparent. As a consequence, volcanism might be more widespread than previously thought.

“The Ahuna Mons cryovolcano allows us to see inside Ceres,” Ruesch said. ”The same process might happen on other dwarf planets like Pluto,” Ruesch noted. The team used images and 3-D terrain maps from the Dawn mission to analyse the shape of Ahuna Mons. They compared features and models of known mountain-building processes on Earth and Mars to the features found on Ahuna Mons.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

According to the research, published in the journal Science, it is the combination of features that makes the case for a volcanic dome. For example, the summit of Ahuna Mons has cracks like those seen in volcanic domes when they expand. Also, the slopes have lines that resemble those formed by rockfalls, and the steep flanks surrounding the dome could be formed by piles of debris. The mountain’s appearance also indicates it is young on a geological timescale. Surface features on planets with little or no atmosphere like Ceres get eroded by asteroid and meteoroid impacts and take on a soft, rounded appearance.

“We’re confident that Ahuna Mons formed within the last billion years, and possibly within a few hundred million years,” Ruesch said. This is relatively new geologically, given that our solar system is about 4.5 billion years old. ”Ahuna Mons is telling us that Ceres still had enough heat to produce a relatively recent cryovolcano,” Ruesch said. ”There is nothing quite like Ahuna Mons in the solar system,” said co-author on the paper Lucy McFadden of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. ”It’s the first cryovolcano we’ve seen that was produced by a brine and clay mix,” McFadden noted. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

18,958FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,780FollowersFollow

Most Popular

5 Reasons Why More Online Casinos Accept Indians

Gambling in India is as old as India itself, so it is not surprising that more and more online casinos accept Indian punters, looking...

3 Types of ULIP Plans in India that Gives Guaranteed Returns

In today’s competitive world, there are plenty of saving and investment choices that decide your future financial wellbeing as well as that of your...

Mouthwash Use Can Reduce Covid Transmission Risk

In the fight against the novel Coronavirus, a team of German scientists has claimed that Sars-Cov-2 viruses can be "inactivated" using commercially available mouthwashes. According...

Increased Foreign Investments into India’s Gaming Market

There has been an increase in gaming activities in India since 2016. This has led to growth in the gaming sector of India. This...

Actress Madhuri Dixit Shares Her Bollywood Journey With Fans

Actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene went down memory lane and shared how she was bitten by the acting bug. "This day back in 1984 I started my...

This Survey Reveals India’s “Consciousness” Towards Diet and Nutrition

As many as 97 percent Indians are aware of the essential nutrients and micro-nutrients required for their body, of which 60 percent 'rarely' or...

Heavy Cigarette Smoking Leads To Complex Health Issues: Study

Each cigarette smoked a day by heavy smokers increases the risk of contracting several diseases by more than 30 per cent, warn researchers. The study,...

“I Believe in Repeating Clothes”, Says B-Town Actress Bhumi Pednekar

Actress Bhumi Pednekar believes in repeating her clothes. She adds that she also believes in sharing her wardrobe with her sister. "I believe in repeating...

Recent Comments