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Mysterious changes and weather seen on distant dwarf planet


By admin - Posted on 20 November 2008

Signs of Weather Seen on Dwarf Planet

Strange weather on the icy dwarf planet Eris could be causing changes that scientists are now seeing at the methane-ice surface of this distant object in our solar system.

A team of researchers examined data on Eris collected from the MMT Observatory in Arizona.  They specifically looked at concentrations of methane ice based on light-reflection and absorption information. 

To read this Space.com article and find out their results, go here.

Mysterious changes seen on distant dwarf planet

The surface of the largest known ‘plutoid’ appears to have changed in recent years, according to new measurements of how elements are layered on its icy surface. But astronomers cannot explain the cause of the apparent change.

Eris is the largest known object beyond the orbit of Neptune, weighing nearly a third more than Pluto. It travels on an elongated path around the Sun that takes about 560 years to complete.

By studying different wavelengths – or ‘bands’ – of light in Eris’s spectrum using the 6.5-metre MMT observatory in Arizona, the researchers concluded that the concentration of nitrogen seems to increase with depth.

To read the NewScientist article, click here.