DPS 2015 Day 1: Mountainous Pluto

Greetings friends.  Just a short post tonight.  This week, I am attending the meeting of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Science, aka DPS 2015. I’m very excited to be presenting my work on planetary rings during tomorrow’s poster session. More on that tomorrow. I plan post to this blog once per day all this week.

Today was largely all about Pluto and some very exciting results coming from the data from the New Horizons spacecraft. I also attended a session on Planetary Rings, which is near and dear to my heart.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

One of the more beautifully interesting pieces of information was the announcement that some of Pluto’s mountains may in fact be cryo-volcanos. 3D models of the terrain have revealed that some of these mountains have deep hollow centers. Cryo-volcano’s, unlike the volcanoes here on Earth, erupt icy materials rather than rocky magma.

This finding is one of many that point to geologically active Planet, with many features that were largely unexpected prior to the flyby.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll report back tomorrow with more of the findings from the New Horizons mission, and talk a bit about my own research related to Saturn’s rings.

Stay tuned!

-Josh

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