alexa Pluto, Charon Could Spout Icy Plumes

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Pluto, Charon Could Spout Icy Plumes

When NASA’s New Horizons mission flies past Pluto on July 14, it may see signs of plumes on the dwarf planet or its moon, Charon, or at least evidence of their past existence. A new study of similar objects in the outer reaches of the solar system suggests that both bodies have the potential to support eruptions of icy material. “If cryo-volcanism occurs on Pluto less than once a Pluto year—248 Earth-years—we’re unlikely to see any signs of it”, Marc Neveu, a doctoral candidate in astrophysics at Arizona State University, wrote in an email to Astrobiology Magazine. “On the other hand, Charon’s surface could retain the memory of long-gone cryo-volcanic events, possibly as old as the moon itself”.

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