Sunday, 19 July 2015

What Scientists Have Discovered About Pluto So Far

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Last Wednesday NASA released the first high-resolution photography of Pluto. Alan Stern, who leads the New Horizons mission as its principal investigator, described the data as 'something wonderful.'

Perhaps the most significant scientific finding is that tidal heating is not essential to power ongoing geologic activity on icy worlds. (Pluto and Charon orbit a common point, always facing one another. Because they are in tidal equilibrium, tides are essentially removed from the equation.) This finding will fundamentally alter our understanding of planets.

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