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There May have been an Ocean on Pluto’s Moon

Update Date: Feb 25, 2016 08:47 AM EST
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Ever since NASA's flyby, the scientists have been intrigued by Pluto's intricate geology. However, it is not only interesting but the largest moon of Pluto, Charon, is surprising as well.

As per the latest data acquired by New Horizons space probe, there may have been a large subsurface ocean on Charon. The cracks on the surface of the moon may have been due to freezing and enlargement of this ocean. "Charon's tectonic landscape shows that, somehow, the moon expanded in its past, and - like Bruce Banner tearing his shirt as he becomes the Incredible Hulk - Charon's surface fractured as it stretched," a NASA press release stated, reports Space.com

The water ice, the ice that is not made of molecule apart from H2O, that covered the surface of Charon was kept moderately warm once due to heat from a newly formed body. It is quite possible that the water underneath the deep surface was warmed enough to make a liquid ocean. Later when the heat formation dissipated, it would have the ocean surface frozen and rock-solid. As a result, the surface of the moon cracked as it expanded and forced to find space, International Business Times reports

Charon is almost half the size of Pluto, the only satellite that is closer in size to its host planet than any other in the solar system. In fact, it does not even have a pock-marked surface like our moon but variety of textures and features that show signs of recent geological processes that shape its form. Charon also houses the longest canyon systems ever spotted in a solar system. If Charon does indeed have a subsurface ocean, it is frozen and rock solid, as reported by Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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