Ice volcanoes on Pluto may still be erupting, New Horizons suggests

Another report showing a youthful surface on Pluto compared to some 4.5 billion years age model. Pluto in 1 Gyr could complete more than 4 million revolutions around the Sun. I note some comments from other reports on this interesting find.

From the report I note, an interesting report indicating more evidence for a young Pluto surface, "but we believe they could be as young as a few hundred million years or even younger",

Reference paper, Large-scale cryovolcanic resurfacing on Pluto,, 29-March-2022. "Abstract The New Horizons spacecraft returned images and compositional data showing that terrains on Pluto span a variety of ages, ranging from relatively ancient, heavily cratered areas to very young surfaces with few-to-no impact craters. One of the regions with very few impact craters is dominated by enormous rises with hummocky flanks. Similar features do not exist anywhere else in the imaged solar system. Here we analyze the geomorphology and composition of the features and conclude this region was resurfaced by cryovolcanic processes, of a type and scale so far unique to Pluto. Creation of this terrain requires multiple eruption sites and a large volume of material (>10^4 km3) to form what we propose are multiple, several-km-high domes, some of which merge to form more complex planforms. The existence of these massive features suggests Pluto’s interior structure and evolution allows for either enhanced retention of heat or more heat overall than was anticipated before New Horizons, which permitted mobilization of water-ice-rich materials late in Pluto’s history." “Introduction Pluto’s surface has experienced considerable and ongoing resurfacing through both endogenic and exogenic processes1,2,3. Pluto is the largest body in the Kuiper belt with a radius (R) of 1188.3 ± 1.6 km^4 and bulk density constraints for a differentiated Pluto indicate the outer ~300 km of Pluto are water-ice-rich overlying a rocky core5, with a poorly constrained carbonaceous component6. Based on this rock abundance, Pluto is expected to have maintained relatively low levels of radiogenic heating (≲5 mW m−2) throughout much of its history7,8. Pluto’s largest moon Charon (R = 606.0 ±1.0 km) likely formed through a large, grazing impact with Pluto9,10. Models predict the tidal evolution of Pluto and Charon progressed rapidly after the impact, and any tidal heating should have ended very early in their history (<100 Myrs after the impact)11.“

Other sources reported on young surface features and heat problems at Pluto too. "The near-total absence of craters suggests this terrain might be only 1 billion years old. But that raises a question: What’s the heat source that would melt Pluto’s water-ice rock to become molten?" ,

Dating Pluto and fitting in the observations with the 4.56 billion years old meteorite paradigm is problematic.

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