Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Carbon monoxide detected around Pluto
by Staff Writers
St. Andrews, Scotland (UPI) Apr 19, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

British astronomers say they have confirmed the presence of poisonous carbon monoxide gas in the atmosphere of Pluto, the only dwarf planet with an atmosphere.

Jane Greaves of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland led a team of British astronomers who found a strong signal of the gas in Pluto's atmosphere using a telescope in Hawaii, reported Tuesday.

She will present the findings Wednesday at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Wales.

Previously thought to extend to about 60 miles above the surface, the new measurements show the atmosphere extends to more than 1,860 miles above Pluto.

The carbon monoxide and methane, the only other gas to be positively identified, are probably the result of solar heating of Pluto's surface ice as the planet has recently moved through its closest approach to the sun in its 248-year orbit around the solar system.

"Seeing such an example of extraterrestrial climate change is fascinating," Greaves said. "This cold simple atmosphere that is strongly driven by the heat from the sun could give us important clues to how some of the basic physics works, and act as a contrasting test-bed to help us better understand the Earth's atmosphere."


Related Links
The million outer planets of a star called Sol

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Later, Uranus: New Horizons Passes Another Planetary Milestone
Boulder CO (SPX) Mar 22, 2011
New Horizons is ready to put another planet - or at least the planet's orbit - in its rearview mirror. The Pluto-bound spacecraft crosses the path of Uranus around 6 p.m. EDT on March 18, more than 1.8 billion miles from Earth. "New Horizons is all about delayed gratification, and our 9 1/2-year cruise to the Pluto system illustrates that," says Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the So ... read more

BRP To Contribute To Canadian Moon And Mars Exploration Programs

Naveen Jain Co-Founder And Chairman Of Moon Express

Project Morpheus To Begin Testing At NASA's Johnson Space Center

NASA Announces Winners Of 18th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

A Tale Of Two Deserts

Mars Rover's 'Gagarin' Moment Applauded Exploration

Mars Flight Possible After 2035

Several Drives This Week Put Opportunity Over 17-Mile Mark

NASA Device Inducted Into Space Technology Hall Of Fame

NASA Awards Next Set Of Commercial Crew Development Agreements

LockMart Commends Congressional Action On NASA Spacecraft

NASA spared cuts in US spending bill passage

Asia's star ever brighter in space

What Future for Chang'e-2

China setting up new rocket production base

China's Tiangong-1 To Be Launched By Modified Long March II-F Rocket

CSA Celebrates A Decade Of Success With Canadarm2

Roberto Vittori's DAMA Mission To ISS

Northrop Grumman To Test Heat Management System On ISS

The MELFI Shuffle: Contingency Planning For Preserving Samples

Design Flaw Behind GSLV Crash

India Starts Countdown For Launch Of Three Satellites

Kazakh Space Launch Project Delayed Until 2017

Putin Urges Ukraine To Join New Russian Space Center Project

The Shocking Environment Of Hot Jupiters

Radio signals could 'tag' distant planets

Titan-Like Exoplanets

A New Way To Find Planets

Apple nearly doubles net profit, iPad sales dip

Don't stigmatise nuclear evacuees, says Japan govt

Robot readings in Japan nuke plant 'harsh'

Ball Aerospace Moves NPP Satellite To Thermal Vacuum Chamber For Final Testing

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement