Pluto has always been a dwarf planet that was covered in ice. In fact, most scientists refer to it as a great blab of ice. This is because Pluto is located far from the sun, and because of that, it is expected to remain frozen for some time, says TechTimes.
Despite the fact it is covered in ice, some have wondered if Pluto could sustain life, especially aquatic life. Researchers have been studying the dwarf planet for signs of life, and some feel that it is entirely possible. However, scientists make it clear that they do not believe it could sustain human life. Instead, they suspect that the dwarf planet is more suitable for something that can survive at freezing temperatures.
Pluto Has a Subsurface Ocean
Scientists have believed for some time that Pluto is home to a subsurface ocean, says Phys.org. While it is not a sign of water, it is a sign that deep space could have oceans, which lead to the question of life. A recent release from university professors argues that beneath Pluto is an ocean that is full of ammonia.
There is also a chance that the small ocean underneath the ice on Pluto harbors primitive life, says Astronomy.com. Studies completed by professors used computer models and data from the New Horizons mission to suggest that there could be a small subsurface ocean hidden under the ice of Sputnik Planitia, which is a round icy water basin in the western lobe of Pluto.
Scientists do agree that it is a long shot that there was life or is life on the planet, however, it is worth researching.
Would Pluto be Suitable for Human Life?
The chances of any life existing on Pluto are slim. And, scientists cannot say what type of life the planet would even sustain. It would depend on what he ocean they have discovered is made from and the substance of the ocean is up for debate.
Some feel that it is watery slush, which may be home to deep-sea hydro thermic vents like that on Earth, but there is no evidence to support that theory.
However, if the ocean is truly made up of ammonia, scientists feel that there is no way life could survive in that high of a level of ammonia. While life can tolerate salt and heat and even extreme cold, ammonia is a different story.
The only hope is that there is a primitive organism living under the ice sheet, which would be important to study. They say it could be pre-cellular, like the earliest life on Earth.
At the concentration expected to be on Pluto, scientists think that the ocean is viscous and features a syrup-like texture. They feel that if there is anything in the water, it is noxious, ammonia-rich and toxic.
All of this is based on if there is a really an ocean on Pluto. This is a long-standing debate among NASA researchers and scientist, because all they have to go off is theories and pictures. No one knows for sure there is even an ocean under the sheets of ice.