Skip to comments.New Horizons Pluto probe notches 3 new discoveries in outer solar system
Posted on 03/17/2023 10:26:06 AM PDT by BenLurkin
While scientists know that Pluto, like Earth, flipped on its side sometime in its past, Pluto's orientation before the flip and the degree to which it reoriented itself has not been well understood. Scientists who use New Horizons data to study Pluto's geologic past hope to find clues that explain this event.
Now, a group of researchers has attributed Pluto's flip to the formation of Sputnik Planitia, a 620-mile-wide (1,000 km) basin that makes up half of the iconic heart-shaped region on Pluto. Researchers previously knew that Sputnik, which is filled with nitrogen ice, played a profound role in realigning the dwarf planet's surface.
Using images that New Horizons sent home from the 2015 flyby, they are now trying to trace the path of Pluto's flip. In doing so, they found parallel mountain ranges and deep valleys that form what they think is a global tectonic system. These features are more than 186 miles (300 km) wide and span a similar distance from Pluto's north pole.
However, the fact that Pluto changed its orientation in the past reveals that none of the terrains scientists now see is in its original location.
"We can't really explain that in Pluto's current configuration," Oliver White, a New Horizons co-investigator at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in California, said during a presentation Tuesday at LPSC. Instead, these features likely existed along Pluto's equator early on and migrated to their current locations nearer the poles because of the flip, he said.
White's team also found that Pluto's subsurface ocean likely provided some push to Sputnik and helped shift a bulk of the dwarf planet's mass toward its equator.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
When I was a boy, Pluto was a planet.
And, we all had jobs!
now boys are girls and girl are boys
When will it discover the mothership the Pentagon mentioned?
“Pluto, like Earth, flipped on its side sometime in its past,”
So . . . capsized?
What are its pronouns?..................
Don’t tell Hank Johnson ...
What does all this really mean?
Climate change is real, is continuous, is not limited to Earth, and has NOTHING to do with burning hydrocarbon fuel.
I also see further down in the article they are going to get an entirely new view of Uranus.
It is always worth a look.
Did you know about this incredible outer space Disney coincidence?
Another view of “Pluto” the dog:
Pluto the dog can, like, totally be seen on Pluto the dwarf planet
Did they probe Uranus?
“While scientists know that Pluto, like Earth, flipped on its side sometime in its past.”
Since when do spheres have sides?
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