Thursday, January 19, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Does Pluto have a subterranean ocean ?


Posted on Wednesday, 16 April, 2014 | Comment icon 16 comments

New Horizons will arrive at Pluto in July of next year. Image Credit: NASA
A new theory suggests that Pluto, like Europa and Enceladus, may be home to a liquid water ocean.
Its small, its distant and we don't know a whole lot about it, but in July 2015 NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will provide us with the first direct look at Pluto and help to answer some of the enduring questions that still surround this tiny, enigmatic world.

One thing that scientists are particularly interested in is whether Pluto possesses a subterranean ocean of liquid water, something that could have been made possible thanks to the heat produced during the collision that formed its moon, Charon.

This same series of events may have also given Pluto a temporary tectonic system, something that scientists will be looking for evidence of when New Horizons arrives next year.

"It would probably be surprising if we didn't see tectonism," said geophysicist Jeffrey Moore.

Source: ABC.net.au | Comments (16)

Tags: Pluto, Ocean, New Horizons


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by ancient astronaut on 16 April, 2014, 18:35
Comment icon #8 Posted by DieChecker on 17 April, 2014, 0:43
LIke A-A's picture above shows, if Pluto was mostly water, then wouldn't the pressure of the miles and miles of ice above cause water to retain a liquid form? Another option is if there are radioactive materials at Pluto's core, then that could also warm up water to the point of being liquid.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sundew on 17 April, 2014, 1:29
LIke A-A's picture above shows, if Pluto was mostly water, then wouldn't the pressure of the miles and miles of ice above cause water to retain a liquid form? Another option is if there are radioactive materials at Pluto's core, then that could also warm up water to the point of being liquid. I would put money on Pluto surprising everyone in the same way the Grand Tour of the outer planets and moons surprised the scientists. I hope the mission is successful and nothing goes haywire, it takes such a long time to get there and I don't know if any other craft is planned for a Pluto mission. I don... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 17 April, 2014, 2:16
I don't know the mission parameters, I assume it's a flyby and not orbital which is a shame, but that's what the physics and fuel supply dictate I suppose. That is correct, although the fact that it is a fly-by could have a bonus. NASA are looking for Kuiper Belt Objects which would be in a suitable orbit for New Horizons to make an additional Fly-by of.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 17 April, 2014, 2:44
LIke A-A's picture above shows, if Pluto was mostly water, then wouldn't the pressure of the miles and miles of ice above cause water to retain a liquid form? The exact opposite in fact. As the pressure increases water can remain solid at a higher temperature. Another option is if there are radioactive materials at Pluto's core, then that could also warm up water to the point of being liquid. Given Pluto's small size I'm not sure it would have a large enough concentration of radioactive materials at it's core to still maintain it in a molten state, but we shall see in just over a year.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Jyre Cayce on 17 April, 2014, 2:53
Scary!
Comment icon #13 Posted by DieChecker on 17 April, 2014, 4:26
The exact opposite in fact. As the pressure increases water can remain solid at a higher temperature. Science Fail on me.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 17 April, 2014, 4:53
Science Fail on me. I had to google a phase diagram to check if I was right. I used to know this stuff.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Perceptivum on 18 April, 2014, 13:58
Why??? Like you have to ask, please.
Comment icon #16 Posted by taniwha on 21 April, 2014, 11:32
LIke A-A's picture above shows, if Pluto was mostly water, then wouldn't the pressure of the miles and miles of ice above cause water to retain a liquid form? Another option is if there are radioactive materials at Pluto's core, then that could also warm up water to the point of being liquid. You are right about the pressure of ice, that mixed with geothermal or tectonic action more than likely equates to water. Are you aware of the groundbreaking research led by the russians in antartica? This research at lake Vostok is considered a blueprint of sorts for similar missions to pluto or other mo... [More]


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
60% of primate species are facing extinction
1-18-2017
A worrying new study has shown just how vulnerable many of the world's primate species actually are.
CIA uploads millions of declassified files
1-18-2017
The documents cover everything from UFO sightings to government-backed remote viewing experiments.
Curiosity discovers metallic meteorite on Mars
1-18-2017
The rover has come across what scientists believe to be an iron-nickel meteorite on the Martian surface.
New video reveals Huygens' harrowing descent
1-17-2017
NASA has released a new video recreating the Huygens probe's historic touchdown on Saturn's moon Titan.
Featured book
 
By Toryn Chapman
Campbell Mackenzie is a successful lawyer with occasional feelings of déjà vu. There's just one problem, though - it's not déjà vu.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Kowloon Walled City
Posted 1-18-2017 | 1 comment
A look at what was once the most densely populated area on the surface of the planet.
 
Marshmallows in a vacuum
Posted 1-16-2017 | 2 comments
What happens to a pile of marshmallows when all the air is removed ?
 
Fighting fire with fire
Posted 1-15-2017 | 0 comments
Adam Savage learns whether it is possible to use fire (or the sound of fire) to put out fire.
 
Washing machine throwing
Posted 1-14-2017 | 8 comments
Two strongmen battle it out to see who can throw a washing machine the furthest.
 
The amazing natural world
Posted 1-13-2017 | 0 comments
A series of quality clips from some of the BBC's most successful wildlife programmes.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Phantom vehicle
1-6-2017 | Ramer, United States
 
True ghost stories
1-6-2017 | Southern California
 
Floating tiles
1-6-2017 | Chewelah, Washington
 
A haunting in Northern California
12-28-2016 | Northern California
 
Strange creature in South Africa
12-28-2016 | South Africa, Hoedspruit.
 
A 15-year-old predicted my future!
12-21-2016 | Katherine, Australia
 
The haunted pond
12-21-2016 | Essex, Ontario, Canada
 
The haunted hospital
12-28-2016 | New Plymouth, New Zealand
 
Loud crash in the night
12-17-2016 | Pennsylvania
 
Mysterious woman in a blue dress
12-17-2016 | Northern Ireland
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ