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Pluto is Geologically Active

17 Jul 2015, 23:03 UTC
Pluto is Geologically Active
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A Primer on Planetary Geology
In the center left of Pluto’s vast heart-shaped feature – informally named “Tombaugh Regio” – lies a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains and has been informally named Sputnik Planum (Sputnik Plain), after Earth’s first artificial satellite. The surface appears to be divided into irregularly-shaped segments that are ringed by narrow troughs. Features that appear to be groups of mounds and fields of small pits are also visible. The blocky appearance of some features is due to compression of the image. NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
It’s great news that Pluto is geologically active, based on the fantastic images from New Horizons. I was hoping it would be, but the level of activity just simply implied in these images is amazing. The New Horizons team has its collective hands full with the flood of data, and the ultimate story of Pluto’s activity will probably be even more complex and cool than we think right now.
What Does it Mean to be Geologically Active?
When we talk about “geologically active” as it relates to ...

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