High resolution photograph of the surface of Yuggoth (www.nasa.gov).
As NASA continues to analyze the incoming higher resolution photographs and data that are coming from Yuggoth (otherwise known as Pluto by most of humanity) more hypotheses are developed in an attempt to understand this dwarf world. It will take NASA a year to receive all of the incoming data (www.cnn.com); however, one thing is certain – Yuggoth is far more complex than originally thought.
The huge mountains of ice seen on Yuggoth may in fact be floating in massive flows of frozen nitrogen. During the “summer season,” when Yuggoth is closest to the sun, the frozen nitrogen may be turning to liquid and possibly gassing into the Yuggothian atmosphere. During this warmer season the huge chunks of nitrogen ice may be flowing or moving, similar to glaciers. However, during the “winter season” these mountain blocks may re-freeze and remain in place until the next Yuggothian summer season.
Sketch of a Mi-Go by Steve Maschuck.
In addition to frozen nitrogen, frozen methane has been detected on Yuggoth; in fact it is found all over the dwarf planet. However, most of this frozen methane is concentrated at the equator and a relatively thin is found at the pole. As shown below the ice near the equator is composed almost entirely of methane (shown in red), while the greenish pole is indicative of a mix of methane and nitrogen (www.space.io9.com). Ethane has also been detected on Yuggoth, which is probably produced by charged particles originating from the sun converting the frozen methane into ethane in a process called photolysis or radiolysis.
Showing the distribution of methane on Yuggoth (www.space.io9.com).
Yuggoth’s thin atmosphere is composed entirely of nitrogen and more than likely originates from geological processes. In addition, while methane can be produced through biological processes, this compound is found, even if in trace amounts, on every planet in the solar system as well as in interstellar gas and on comets.
Maybe the Mi-Go biologically “fix” the atmospheric nitrogen on Yuggoth as a source of energy, similar to the way some blue-green algae “fix” atmospheric nitrogen through the use of specialized cells called heterocysts. Additionally, the Mi-Go may also use methane and/or ethane as a source of energy. Such a biological process can be found on Earth. Methylomirabilis oxyfera is a bacterium that can survive in inhospitable environments, feeding on methane and essentially “breathing” its own oxygen it produces as a waste product. Such bacteria need methane and inorganic nitrogen compounds to survive and are typically found in the sediments of rivers and lakes where oxygen is absent or very low. Such bacteria were more than likely very common on early Earth, before photosynthesis started pumping oxygen into Earth’s atmosphere. Are the Mi-Go using similar biological pathways to exist on Yuggoth? Possibly – the next article will focus on Venus as we go back to discussing “In the Walls of Eryx.” Thank you – Fred.
A filament of the blue-green alga (also known as cyanobacteria) Anabaena. The clear cell is a heterocyst, where it fixes its own nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Methylomirabilis oxyfera is a bacterium that can feed off of methane in very harsh environments (from Dr. L Stanndard, UCT / Science Photo Library; http://www.nature.com)