The Christian Science Monitor recently interviewed UT’s Joshua Emery for a story examining why dwarf planet Pluto is so icy. Scientists have modeled the ice composition on Pluto and have a theory now about why ice formed in the depths of the Pluto’s iconic ‘heart.’
“They go beyond the previous analyses in that they apply a more complete numerical simulation of atmospheric dynamics and surface-atmosphere interactions than I’ve seen used before for Pluto,” said Emery, who was not part of the study. “They are careful to compare not only the resulting surface distributions of ices, but also the abundances of different gasses in the atmosphere, and the overall atmospheric pressure changes.”
Emery, the Lawrence A. Taylor Associate Professor of Planetary Science, has studied Pluto at length and has analyzed telescopic data from Kuiper Belt objects—icy bodies that orbit the sun beyond Neptune. Pluto is one of the largest Kuiper Belt objects.
Read the Christian Science Monitor story online.