For the search of extraterrestrial life, the NASA's new research suggests that some ice world outside the solar system, including Pluto, may have a liquid ocean under the surface.
Heat generated by the gravity of the moon formed from a massive collision can extend the life of the ocean of liquid water beneath these massive ice world.
Due to the gravity of the moon, a massive collision occurred. The heat from this collision can extend the life of the ocean of liquid water beneath the surface of these icy worlds.
These cold worlds are discovered across Neptune's orbit, including Pluto and its satellites. They are known as Trans Neptunian Objects (TNOs) and it is too cold to have liquid water with a temperature of minus 200 degrees Celsius or less.
However, there is evidence that there may be a layer of liquid water under some ice crusts.
“We found that tidal heating can be a tipping point that may have preserved oceans of liquid water beneath the surface of large TNOs like Pluto and Eris to the present day," said study co-author Wade Henning of NASA's Goddard Space.
This discovery greatly increases the number of places where extraterrestrial life can be found. Liquid water is necessary to support life, and astronomers estimate that there are dozens of these worlds.
"These objects need to be considered as potential reservoirs of water and life," said the lead author of the research Prabal Saxena of NASA.
"If our study is correct, we now may have more places in our solar system that possess some of the critical elements for extraterrestrial life," Saxena added.
Eris is second-largest of the currently known TNOs after Pluto.
Researchers have discovered that the gravitational interaction with the moon can generate enough heat inside Neptune to significantly extend the ocean lifespan of the ocean floor.