New Study Suggests Pluto Started Out With a Liquid Ocean
New research suggests Pluto may be more capable of supporting alien life than we had previously thought.
SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA — New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience suggests Pluto started out with a liquid ocean that has been slowly freezing over time.
The findings are based on an analysis of pictures of Pluto's surface taken by NASA's New Horizons mission. These show extensive ridges and troughs consistent with the planet expanding as its ocean froze.
Pluto is thought to possess a liquid ocean beneath a thin icy surface and a mantle of watery ice, according to the paper, which was published on June 22.
The study suggests the heat energy that allowed for a liquid ocean came from rocks colliding with and raining down on Pluto as the planet formed. Heat may also have been generated by radioactive elements in the rocks.
The new research suggests Pluto may be more capable of supporting alien life than we had previously thought.
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