Scientists suggest that pluto was put together from a billion comets news site electricity distribution companies

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These maps, assembled using data from the Ralph spectral imager on NASA’s New Horizons probe, shows the relative concentration of four chemicals on Pluto’s surface. Methane is shown in purple, nitrogen in yellow, carbon monoxide in green, and water ice in blue. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI Images)

To reach that conclusion, Christopher Glein and J. Hunter Waite Jr. of the Southwest Research Institute compared chemical analyses from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto with readings from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

“We found an intriguing consistency between the estimated amount of nitrogen inside the glacier and the amount that would be expected if Pluto was formed by the agglomeration of roughly a billion comets or other Kuiper Belt objects similar in chemical composition to 67P,” he said today in a news release.

“Our research suggests that Pluto’s initial chemical makeup, inherited from cometary building blocks, was chemically modified by liquid water, perhaps even in a subsurface ocean,” Glein said. That’s consistent with other findings from the New Horizons mission, hinting that some water may still exist in liquid form deep beneath Pluto’s frozen surface.

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