Hints of `building blocks of life` detected on Pluto
London: Planetary scientists claim that the Hubble telescope has found hints of "building blocks of life" on Pluto.
An international team, led by the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, says the Hubble has actually detected hints of complex hydrocarbon molecules, crucial to the first
life on Earth, on the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto.
The Cosmic Origins Spectroscope on the Hubble space telescope has discovered a strong "absorber" of ultraviolet light on the dwarf planet`s rocky, icy surface -- suggesting
hydrocarbons are lying there, the British media reported.
The chemicals detected on the surface might have been produced by sunlight or cosmic rays reacting with Pluto`s surface ices, which include frozen methane, carbon monoxide
and nitrogen, say the scientists.
They believe the presence of the chemicals would explain the body`s red hue.
"This is an exciting finding. Plutonian hydrocarbons may be responsible for giving Pluto its ruddy colour," Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, who led the team, was quoted as saying.
The scientists also found evidence that things on Pluto appear to be changing, with differences in the ultraviolet spectrum compared to Hubble measurements from the 1990s.
The changes may be simply be caused by looking at different terrains, or to other effects, such as changes in the surface related to a steep increase in the pressure of
Pluto`s atmosphere, they say.
"The discovery we made with Hubble reminds us that even more exciting discoveries about Pluto`s composition and surface evolution are likely to be in store when NASA`s New Horizons spacecraft arrives at Pluto in 2015," Stern added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced on May 28
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark