Hubble Space Telescope at NASA discovers signs of organic molecules on Pluto

Hubble Space Telescope at NASA discovers signs of organic molecules on Pluto

Boulder : CO : USA | Dec 27, 2011 at 2:20 PM PST
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ScienceCasts: Visit To Pluto

Scientists at NASA have found signs of life on the surface of Pluto as evidence of complex organic molecules have been documented through the Hubble Space Telescope. The planet is being studied in the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. under Alan Stern. He regards this new discovery as a significant step to know more about the faraway planet and its composition.

“This is an exciting finding because complex Plutonian hydrocarbons and other molecules that could be responsible for the ultraviolet spectral features we found with Hubble may, among other things, be responsible for giving Pluto its ruddy color,” Stern said.

NASA has also launched a New Horizon spacecraft in year 2006 that is going to get very close to Pluto after a journey of ten years and then will provide with valuable information about the planet.

“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 told about the new mission.

The recent observation has been made that the surface of Pluto is absorbing more ultraviolet radiations as expected and also the spectrum observed now is different from the one seen earlier. The reason for this difference is thought to be because of a change in the atmosphere of the planet over time or different area examined this time as compared to the earlier inspections.

These discoveries are bringing the astronomers closer to their search for a planet other than Earth that is habitable for life, even in its very basic form. The presence of water and oxygen was the focus of studies as well to find such a planet.

The scientists are discussing the new finding by the telescope and creating links with the already discovered facts about the small planet. They were having the idea about the presence of organic molecules on Pluto’s surface earlier as well and that is now confirmed by the latest update. Now further information will be revealed by the New Horizon spacecraft’s mission when it reaches its destination.

The project manager for the New Horizon project, Glen Fountain is looking forward to the success of the mission. "We've come a long way across the solar system. When we launched, it seemed like our 10-year journey would take forever, but those years have been passing us quickly. We're almost six years in flight, and it's just about three years until our encounter begins," he said about the project.

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Images of Pluto taken by the Hubble Space Telescope
Images of Pluto taken by the Hubble Space Telescope
sarah1 is based in California, California, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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