You will be amazed to hear that dust, haze, fog, smoke is not limited to Earth. It extends to other planets like Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus too. What are hazes? They are made up of tiny motes of ice, smoke, dust, and other such substances. The haze is nothing unique to Earth but is also found on Pluto.
According to a report published in dailynpaper.com, NASA’s New Horizons Mission which flew from Pluto back in 2015 to Earth showed that Pluto has an atmosphere that is very rich in methane, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide. This was not only limited to this planet but was found in Titan and Triton too. Hence, it can be understood that hazes are not limited to the planets but can also be found in the moons.
Differences between hazes of Titan and Pluto
Previously conducted research has shown that Titan’s fog is the result of the solar ultraviolet rays. Titan’s fog is an orange-colored haze. This can be compared to the smog that one experiences on Earth. These rays trigger the chemical reactions that happen in the atmosphere of this moon. This leads to the creation of organic compounds that lead to the formation of complex organic molecules. But scientists have now discovered that Pluto, Titan, and Triton have different origins.
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft captured images on Triton’s surface at the South Pole. Titan and Pluto might be similar in some aspects but the hazes are different. Pluto’s atmosphere is cooler than that of Titan- 80 degrees Celsius.
The new study reveals that sunlight leads to forming chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere of Pluto. This leads to the formation of Hydrogen Cyanide. These freeze to form ice particles. When these ice particles settle down due to the gravitational pull, the other gases concentrate around them.
This has led to the formation of the blue haze on the planet. The icy particles found in Pluto have less interaction with the sun’s rays than the particles found in Titan. Hence, they play a role in controlling the heat in the atmosphere of this planet.
Triton has an even colder atmosphere when compared to Pluto. The scientists felt that the hazes around Triton will even be colder than those around Pluto.
This new study of the blue haze of Pluto and comparing that to Triton and Titan have brought forward important differences in the formation of haze in the different planetary bodies of the galaxy.