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Space Sunday: From Pluto’s ocean to Mercury’s darkness

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Water ice had been identified by the RALPH instrument suite on New Horizons, now it seems Pluto may have a liquid ocean beneath its surface Water ice had been identified by the Ralph instrument suite on New Horizons (shown on blue), now it seems Pluto may have a liquid ocean beneath its surface (Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

It may be so far away that the Sun appears to be a particularly bright star it is sky, but it now seems that Pluto has a liquid ocean just beneath its icy surface, just as might have once been the case with its companion, Charon, billions of years ago.

Since passing through the Pluto-Charon system in July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons space craft has been returning the data it gathered at a steady rate, focusing initially on the high-resolution images collected during the probes high-speed run by the two tiny worlds (both smaller than the Moon). These images have revealed Pluto and Charon to be remarkably complex little worlds, with glacial flows, rotated ice blocks, volcano-like mounds and other…

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