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NASA detects X-ray emission from Pluto

This discovery was done by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory during its four separate observations.


NASA detects X-ray emission from Pluto
Image credit: NASA

New Delhi: Something strange is happening in the icy, frozen, distant world of Pluto. NASA recently detected an alien emission of X-rays from the Pluto which is situated 3.6 billion miles away from the sun.

This discovery was done by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory during its four separate observations. In each observation, Chandra detected low energy X-rays from Pluto.

“We’ve just detected, for the first time, X-rays coming from an object in our Kuiper Belt, and learned that Pluto is interacting with the solar wind in an unexpected and energetic fashion,” said Dr. Carey Lisse of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “We can expect other large Kuiper Belt objects to be doing the same.”

The study published in journal Icarus reveals that the findings is somewhat surprising as Pluto don't have any magnetic field that supports emmission of X-rays. Dr. Lissse pointed out that the interaction between the gases surrounding such planetary bodies and the solar wind can create X-rays on the dwarf planet.

According to Futurity, there may be three valid possibilities for the enhanced X-ray emission from Pluto. One is that there is a much wider and longer tail of gas trailing Pluto than New Horizons found with SWAP. Another is that interplanetary magnetic fields are focusing more particles than expected from the solar wind into the region around Pluto. A third is that the low density of the solar wind in the outer solar system could allow formation of a doughnut, or torus, of neutral gas centered on Pluto’s orbit.

From Zee News

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