The heart shaped structure in Pluto.
Pluto has a heart shaped structure which is filled with frozen nitrogen and it is not very different in its functioning from that of a human heart.
Much like the human heart, Pluto’s heart controls a lot of external factors around it.
Research suggests that the content of its heart controls the winds and may give rise to features on its surface.
Uncovering how Pluto's atmosphere behaves provides scientists with another place to compare to our own planet.
Such findings can pinpoint both similar and distinctive features between Earth and a dwarf planet billions of miles away.
Pluto's heart-shaped structure, named Tombaugh Regio, quickly became famous after NASA's New Horizons mission captured footage of the dwarf planet in 2015 and revealed it is not the barren world scientists thought it was.
Nitrogen gas - an element also found in air on Earth - comprises most of Pluto's thin atmosphere, along with small amounts of carbon monoxide and the greenhouse gas methane.
As air whips close to the surface, it transports heat, grains of ice and haze particles to create dark wind streaks and plains across the north and northwestern regions.
Most of Pluto's nitrogen ice is confined to Tombaugh Regio. Its left "lobe" is a 1,000-kilometre ice sheet located in a three-kilometre deep basin named Sputnik Planitia - an area that holds most of the dwarf planet's nitrogen ice because of its low elevation.
The heart's right "lobe" is comprised of highlands and nitrogen-rich glaciers that extend into the basin.
Bertrand and his colleagues set out to determine how circulating air - which is 1,00,000 times thinner than that of Earth's - might shape features on the surface.
The team pulled data from New Horizons' 2015 flyby to depict Pluto's topography and its blankets of nitrogen ice.
They then simulated the nitrogen cycle with a weather forecast model and assessed how winds blew across the surface.
Indo-Asian News Service
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