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Pluto: evidence for 'hot start' scenario and early ocean formation

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The accretion of new material during Pluto's formation may have generated enough heat to create a liquid ocean that has persisted beneath an icy crust to the present day, despite the dwarf planet's orbit far from the sun in the cold outer reaches of the solar system.

This "hot start" scenario contrasts with the traditional view of Pluto's origins as a ball of frozen ice and rock in which radioactive decay could have eventually generated enough heat to melt the ice and form a subsurface ocean.

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Because water expands when it freezes and contracts when it melts, the hot-start and cold-start scenarios have different implications for the tectonics and resulting surface features of Pluto, explained first author and UCSC graduate student Carver Bierson.

"If it started cold and the ice melted internally, Pluto would have contracted and we should see compression features on its surface, whereas if it started hot it should have expanded as the ocean froze and we should see extension features on the surface," Bierson said.

"Even in this cold environment so far from the sun, all these worlds might have formed fast and hot, with liquid oceans," Bierson said.

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Flippy

Pluto always serving!

moon pluto GIF

But honestly, I love astronomy so this is something huge :flutter:

TMBT 3.22.11 // TBTWB 1.17.13 // ArtRAVE 6.3.14 // C2CT 5.28.15 // TJWT 8.13.17
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Ronnie

Now serve, Pluto! Yes, mama! WERQ!

Season 10 GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race

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huttont

Get your seashell bikinis ready everyone

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