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Space & Astronomy

Pluto is covered in woodworm-like holes

By T.K. Randall
October 20, 2015 · Comment icon 13 comments

What are the mysterious holes on Pluto's surface ? Image Credit: NASA
The latest discovery on pluto has revealed that the dwarf planet is pockmarked with small round pits.
The latest series of photographs from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has revealed that parts of Pluto's surface are covered in vast numbers of holes that have no obvious explanation.

The pits, which are only a few meters wide and up to tens of meters deep, may have been caused by sublimation - the process through which a solid turns in to a gas without going through a liquid stage - however the distribution of the holes continues to prove mysterious.
The lack of craters on Pluto and the fact that the surface is being constantly refreshed by new layers of ice makes the presence of these peculiar pits even more strange.

"Pluto is weird, in a good way," said New Horizons project scientist Hal Weaver.

"The pits, and the way they're aligned, provide clues about the ice flow and the exchange of volatiles between the surface and atmosphere, and the science team is working hard to understand what physical processes are at play here."

Source: Discovery News | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jeffertonturner 8 years ago
For those of us who don't ever look in the UM gallery..... Thanks for posting this extremely interesting story!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Ashyne 8 years ago
So it is proof that Pluto has woodworms. The great question of whether we are alone in this universe has been answered.
Comment icon #6 Posted by seeder 8 years ago
I know just what these are, they are the holes to the Clangers domains UK kids cartoon, for those of us old enough to remember
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
Sounds like Pluto may have a hot core or a bad case of gas! Pluto is going to be a very interesting study. Not that I don't think we should send probes to the ends of our solar system, but I haven't seen anything on Venus lately. Have we given up on Venus due to the acid atmosphere?
Comment icon #8 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
Looks like old snow that is evaporating to me.
Comment icon #9 Posted by WolvenHeart7 8 years ago
Alien mining projects? jk
Comment icon #10 Posted by Razer 8 years ago
Mongolian death worms.
Comment icon #11 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
Space slugs are real. I saw one in the first Star Wars movie. Seriously though, probably these are vents where vapor comes to the surface. The article says they are collapsed areas were different types of ice have sublimated away. Probably due to solar heating. The tiny holes are actually roughly 500 meters across. Wow, actually those are big holes.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Twin 8 years ago
Why does this image appear to be printed on canvas?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Oops Monkey 8 years ago
Yeah, it's really interesting (on the surface) but chalk it up to sublimation.

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