Monday, November 21, 2011

NASA Probe to Search for Pluto's Hidden Ocean

Date: 21 November 2011 Time: 05:41 PM ET
Artists concept of NASA's New Horizons mission to visit Pluto.
An artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft as it visits Pluto in 2015. Instruments will map Pluto and its moon, Charon, providing detail not only on the surface of the dwarf planet, but also about its shape, which could reveal whether or not an ocean lies beneath the ice.
CREDIT: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
When NASA's New Horizons cruises by Pluto in 2015, the images it captures could help astronomers determine if an ocean is hiding under the frigid surface, opening the door to new possibilities for liquid water to exist on other bodies in the solar system. New research has not only concluded such an ocean is likely, but also has highlighted features the spacecraft could identify that could help confirm an ocean's existence.



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