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Mountains on Pluto? Who Ordered Those?

16 Jul 2015, 02:11 UTC
Mountains on Pluto? Who Ordered Those?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

It Just Gets Better and Better

I live on the side of an 11,000-foot peak in Colorado. That’s how tall the solar system’s newly discovered mountains on Pluto tower over the frozen landscape.
Imagine that.
Mountains on Pluto. That’s what New Horizons found there. And showed us this week.
To employ a well-known question we’ve heard a LOT this week: who ordered that? And, what ELSE is it going to show us?
On Earth, mountains imply geologic activity. Tectonism. Or even volcanism. But, out at Pluto? It’s going to be an interesting time as the planetary scientists assimilate everything they’re learning and understand how it all works. But, the good news is, it all works according to the laws of physics, the geological laws, chemistry laws, and so on. In other words, it’s all going to be explained by science, just as it should be. And that’s just darned cool!
Charon, the moon with the youthful and varied landscapes. Courtesy NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI.
And, that’s not all: Charon has smooth areas that look relatively young, meaning that there’s activity inside this moon. What’s causing that? There could be a few explanations. The one that comes to mind immediately is “radiogenic heating”, which ...

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