Pluto’s Largest Moon Had Globe-Spanning Ocean, New Research Suggests

By Carie P. | Jul 18, 2017 08:59 PM EDT

Latest reports indicated that Pluto's largest moon, Charon had a very large ocean even describing it as a globe-spanning ocean. Before, Charon was just a sidekick to the dwarf planet but now, it is already getting some well-deserved time in the spotlight.

According to the latest research, Pluto's largest moon, Charon included in its history a tectonic activity which is sometimes called the cryovolcanism and the most controversial one, a globe-spanning ocean. While the dwarf planet has been active geologically, its largest moon, Charon was formed after a massive collision billions of years have passed.

As of today, Gizmodo reported that Charon has been regarded as a dead moon but there are pieces of evidence which can point out to the possibility that the satellite has not always been this way. A developing study suggested that billions of years ago, the said satellite of Pluto underwent at least one period of tectonic activity and this made its entire surface to have expanded outwards.

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The said study was initiated and led by NASA planetary scientist Ross Beyer and she claimed that the hemisphere of Charon facing Pluto includes two specific and different geologic provinces. According to her, these two are the north, a diverse and vast area known also as Oz Terra and the south, the smooth plains of Vulcan Planum. She even shared that the northern part is covered with scraps, grooves, and deep, elongated, chasms which can even be more splendid than the Grand Canyon of the planet Earth.

Moreover, the said study also claimed that the crust of Charon is being pulled apart and stretched making all the tectonics to be extensional. The researchers also were quick to discover that Charon puffed up perhaps four billion years has passed.

While nobody was even certain on how Charon was formed, the researchers likewise concluded that this largest moon of Pluto could have had a global, subterranean ocean which was kept warm by the energy found in its core. As the heat of that core degenerated, the ocean froze, cooled and expanded. Then this grew in volume and the pressure resulting from it caused the icy crust to separate, crack, and drift apart.

The study provided a clean and nice explanation as to why Charon, Pluto's largest moon, looks the way it does today. However, the researchers and the experts from NASA need to have another space mission to Pluto in order to study the moon's interior.

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