Pluto found a “hot start”

Scientists have calculated that Pluto had a high internal temperature at the time of its formation. According to modern concepts, the inside warm and Pluto has a subsurface ocean of liquid water. Geological data of the mission New Horzonts show that such conditions existed on the dwarf planet since its formation, while previously, astronomers assumed that the heating was relatively late and it resulted from radioactive decay in the core. Work published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Observations of the last decades has shown that extraterrestrial liquid water is not uncommon in the Solar system: on Mars discovered an underground lake, and many satellites of the giant planets inside warm, such as Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus and Titan, and have a solid surface global ocean water, what we were told in a material “the Sea inside”. It is assumed that Pluto also has an internal liquid ocean.

Heating the depths of the satellites responsible two processes: the main contribution of the tidal deformation due to the strong gravity of the giant planets, but additionally increases the temperature decay of radioactive elements in the kernel. Around Pluto rotates only a small satellite, Charon, are called tidal deformation is very weak. However, the surface of the dwarf planet looks young and has faults that talks about geological activity. Scientists believed that the radioactive elements of the core of the Pluton eventually warmed up the bowels and formed the water of the ocean analogue of the magma ocean of the Earth.

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