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December 2016

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Pluto’s Ocean?

Pluto very likely has an enormous slushy ocean 62 miles deep below the heart-shaped region on Pluto, Tombaugh Regio, according to several New Horizon’s scientists. This subsurface ocean would provide an answer to Pluto’s unique surface features in this region and why Pluto and Charon are locked into the alignment that New Horizon observed. This paper published in Nature details their discoveries. The subsurface ocean could be a global ocean on Pluto or more concentrated below the heart-shaped region.  It seems water is a lot more abundant in our solar system than scientists originally thought, giving rise to the possibility of life in regions previously thought to be impossible. Scientists were confused as to why Pluto’s heart-shaped region would always be facing directly away from Charon, Pluto’s largest moon.  The left lobe of the heart-shaped region on Pluto is likely filled with nitrogen ice being pushed up from the slushy…