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Cracked, Frozen, and Tipped Over: New Clues From Pluto's Past


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Pluto

In this image of Pluto taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, different colors represent different compositions of surface ices, revealing a surprisingly active body.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Sputnik Planitia, a 1,000-kilometer-wide basin within the iconic heart-shaped region observed on Pluto's surface, could be in its present location because accumulation of ice made the dwarf planet roll over, creating cracks and tensions in the crust that point toward the presence of a subsurface ocean.

From The University of Arizona
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