"Pluto" by NASA / Public Domain

Scientists Think They Know How Pluto’s Hidden Ocean Stays Liquid

May 21, 2019

By Ryan F. Mandelbaum

Recent results suggest that Pluto has a liquid water ocean buried beneath its icy shell. But how could such a thing be possible at the frigid outer edges of the solar system? Scientists from Japan and the United States might have an answer.

In a paper published Monday in Nature Geoscience, these researchers speculate that perhaps, Pluto’s ocean is kept insulated by a layer of gas beneath the ice. If this hypothesis proves true, then this mechanism might keep other icy worlds from freezing over completely.

“If this mechanism is common, then oceans might be common on other large [Kuiper Belt objects],” study co-author Francis Nimmo from the University of California, Santa Cruz told Gizmodo.

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