Continuing the love-hate relationship with the former member of our solar system - Pluto, scientists have now discovered that Pluto may soon freeze over.
Pluto, which was downgraded from its 'planet status' by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006, has an atmosphere containing layers of gases like nitrogen (N2), with minor amounts of methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO), all of which are vaporized from their ice-from existing on Pluto’s surface.
New studies suggest that Pluto’s atmosphere may completely collapse and freeze by 2030 due to winter -which is a decade away for Pluto as it takes 248 Earth years for the orbiting body to complete one revolution around the Sun. Scientists are now suggesting that in 2030, when winter will be coming to Pluto, the nitrogen-heavy atmosphere could collapse entirely and fall, turning into a layer of solid frost.
As Pluto is the farthest from the Sun and has the longest orbit, it's surface temperature is between minus 378 and minus 396 degrees Fahrenheit. This has made scientists to model seasons on Pluto and how those react to the amount of sunlight it receives during different parts of its orbit, coming to this conclusion that: 'Winter is Coming.'
Andrew Cole, an associate professor at the University of Tasmania’s School of Natural Sciences, has said, “ The atmospheric pressure on Pluto has tripled over the past three decades, but as the planet orbits, our modeling showed that most of the atmosphere would condense out to almost nothing left. What are predictions show is that by 2030 the atmosphere is going to frost out and vanish around the whole planet,” as quoted by a tech-news website.
He added bluntly that even if we lose Pluto, we might gain a star.
"If Pluto’s atmosphere collapses and freezes over, the dwarf planet may appear brighter in our sky because it will reflect more sunlight,” he said.
Twitterati have been mourning the impending freezing of Pluto: