Astronomers predict that in the ocean of Pluto is unlikely to have a life

Астрономы предполагают, что в океане Плутона вряд ли есть жизнь

. Giant ocean under the surface of Pluto is likely to contain giant amounts of ammonia and salts, which casts doubt on the possibility of the existence of life in it, with the exception of very exotic variants of microbes, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

“Life can carry a large number of different nasty things – she easily carries large quantities of salt, low or high temperature and so on. On the other hand, I don’t think that the amount of ammonia that is needed in order to the ocean Pluto is not frozen, is valid for microbes. In other words, Pluto is not a place for life nor for microbes, especially for octopus or fish,” said William McKinnon (McKinnon Willliam) from Washington University in St. Louis (USA).

The first data collected by the New Horizons probe during a flyby through the Pluto system in the summer of 2015, he pointed out that this dwarf planet may have a giant ice ocean. In favor of this, in particular, says that the surface of Pluto, paradoxically, expand as they cool down, what happens when water is in its ice ocean turns into ice. In addition, the unusual shape and depth of the “heart of Pluto” indicate that in his birth was involved in the under-ice ocean.

The first models of the ocean, built on the basis of information from New Horizons, pointed to the fact that it needs to remain liquid until now, and that it may be similar in composition and properties the Dead sea is the Earth – it contains a huge amount of salt and other substances, not allowing the water to freeze.

In the Dead sea, despite its name, there are microbes and fungi that can live inside of a 30% solution of salt. This prompts many scientists, as McKinnon says, the idea that similar organisms could occur in the bowels of Pluto and other similar planets.
By studying the circumstances of the formation of this ocean and the birth of the “heart of Pluto”, the famous plains of the Satellite, McKinnon came to the conclusion that the water in this under-ice ocean is not similar to the Dead sea, and even more lifeless substance, which he calls the “syrup”.

This syrup, according to him, consists not only of water but of gigantic quantities of salts, ammonia, methanol and other unpleasant to humans and other living creatures, liquids, whose quantity must be really high in order to keep the ocean from freezing for at least four billion years. The water in this “syrup” remains liquid even at temperatures of about minus 148 degrees Celsius.

According to McKinnon, earthly life in such a “syrup” can not exist in principle. On the other hand, some exotic forms of life like those of many chemists today are trying to create in conditions similar to the hydrocarbon seas of Titan, in principle, could survive in it, if it existed in reality, concludes the scientist.

Source