Space or the cosmos is a huge entity and humankind comprise of a minuscule fraction. There are millions and millions of stars within our Milky Way galaxy, and there are billions of galaxies in this universe which we are only discovering. We are still uncovering the secrets of our solar system, so it will be a very long time before we will fathom the mysteries of the endless cosmos. The New Horizons spacecraft had unearthed a mine of information about the once farthest planet in the solar system, Pluto before it was demoted to the rank of a dwarf planet.
Pluto was assumed to be a bone dry world with no evidence of water. However, as the adage goes ‘Fact is stranger than fiction’; researchers now say that there could be a 60-mile deep ocean filled with water below the icy surface of the dwarf planet.
Researchers have long suspected that the planet could be harboring liquid water below its surface. One of the tasks of the New Horizon was to search for water on Pluto. It was confirmed that Pluto does have liquid water but scientists were not envisaging that water could be present in such large quantities. It is now confirmed that there is a 60-mile deep ocean filled with liquid water covered by a crust of ice.
Researchers focused their attention on Sputnik Planum, a basin which located near the famous heart shaped lobe and is almost 900 kilometers wide. The basin could have been formed by the impact of an object some 200 kilometers wide or larger.
Models were created to mimic the impact to create a basin as large as Sputnik Planum. The simulations led to the conclusion that there is an ocean about 100 kilometers thick with a salinity of 30%. Researchers hope to unravel much more mysteries of the dwarf planet as they continue to analyze the voluminous data sent by New Horizons.