New Pluto Data –“Points to More Oceans in the Universe Than Thought”

Pluto's Ocean


New simulations of Pluto support the possibility of a long-lived liquid ocean existing beneath the icy crust of Sputnik Planitia located near the equator and roughly the size of Texas. The simulations showed that, without a gas hydrate insulating layer, the subsurface sea would have frozen completely hundreds of millions of years ago; but with one, it hardly freezes at all. Also, it takes about one million years for a uniformly thick ice crust to completely form over the ocean, but with a gas hydrate insulating layer, it takes more than one billion years.