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Pluto’s ‘heart’ sheds light on a possible buried ocean

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posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:24 PM
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It seems our Solar System is a very wet place and getting wetter the more we look , a study led by Brown University geologist Brandon Johnson suggests Pluto , not wanting to be left out , may have its own submerged ocean and the Heart that captivated the world may be a sign of it.

“Thermal models of Pluto’s interior and tectonic evidence found on the surface suggest that an ocean may exist, but it’s not easy to infer its size or anything else about it,” said Johnson, who is an assistant professor in Brown’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. “We’ve been able to put some constraints on its thickness and get some clues about composition.”
The research focused on Sputnik Planum, a basin 900 kilometers across that makes up the western lobe the famous heart-shaped feature revealed during the New Horizons flyby. The basin appears to have been created by an impact, likely by an object 200 kilometers across or larger.


“This scenario requires a liquid ocean,” Johnson said. “We wanted to run computer models of the impact to see if this is something that would actually happen. What we found is that the production of a positive mass anomaly is actually quite sensitive to how thick the ocean layer is. It’s also sensitive to how salty the ocean is, because the salt content affects the density of the water.” The models simulated the impact of an object large enough to create a basin of Sputnik Planum’s size hitting Pluto at a speed expected for that part in the solar system. The simulation assumed various thicknesses of the water layer beneath the crust, from no water at all to a layer 200 kilometers thick.
news.brown.edu...

Liquid ocean on Pluto , who would have thought.
Water water everywhere.




posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: gortex


The basin appears to have been created by an impact, likely by an object 200 kilometers across or larger.

Residual heat from impactors is underestimated, imo. An object large enough to keep the hot spot under the Hawaiian volcano chain hot for so long is one possible example. We're talking about millions and millions of years...

image



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: gortex

I just posted the same on the "NASA Announcement" thread! Water on Mars, the moon, Pluto, Europa, etc. I just posted the space.com article so thanks for getting the actual Brown research!

Interesting times we live in!

S+F



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:36 PM
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Further:


Thermal models of Pluto’s interior and tectonic evidence found on the surface suggest that an ocean may exist, but it’s not easy to infer its size or anything else about it,”

As in they have no clue if its a liquid reservoir or what it may be comprised of. Liquid volatile gasses trapped under a frosty cap, more likely. Theres bound to be water, too. Not a water 'ocean' though.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Further to your further.

“What this tells us is that if Sputnik Planum is indeed a positive mass anomaly —and it appears as though it is — this ocean layer of at least 100 kilometers has to be there,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty amazing to me that you have this body so far out in the solar system that still may have liquid water.”

If it is there then it's pretty amazing to me too.
As with all things astronomical only further study will provide the answer.


edit on 26-9-2016 by gortex because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Liquid saltwater? Interesting indeed, the next question would be how long ago might the impact have occured (if the theory is correct)? What about hydrothermal vents? Life? Evolution? So many questions but it's stunning to see how we keep discovering conditions favorable to life outside our own biosphere.

Titan, Europa, Pluto ... wouldn't it be ironic if it turns out that aquatic lifeforms exist right next door, in our immediate neighborhood so to speak (it's a leap I know, but given findings like these it doesn't seem too far fetched)?




posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: gortex


As with all things astronomical only further study will provide the answer.

Cha_Ching!

Where theres water there could be life. Where theres life there is proof of life elsewhere, where there is life elsewhere there is sentiment generated for further expenditure...

"Billions and billions..." --Carl Sagan
edit on 26-9-2016 by intrptr because: bb code



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: jeep3r

It not too much of a leap. In fact some scientists have already thought about the ocean on Europa could support life.

Space.com - Jupiter Moon Europa's Ocean May Have Enough Energy to Support Life.

So the basic idea is that water (ice) is interacting with the crust releasing hydrogen which also is mixing with oxygen making more water that sinks down starting another cycle. This churning if heated by gravity's pull could have enough chemical energy to support life on Europa.

Wonder what is happening with Pluto? What kind of interactions are happening on that planetoid?



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 03:04 PM
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Hmmmmmmm..... Wouldn't an underground ocean be an Aquifer ?



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 03:17 PM
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Hmmm. Another one here on ATS only on Jupiter's moon.

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 26-9-2016 by Plotus because: mistakenly posted the link as Saturn



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