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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Charon, icy volcano world?

Filed under pretty pictures, art, many worlds, Charon, Pluto

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Charon, icy volcano world? An artist's conception of Charon (with Pluto in the background) against the backdrop of the Milky Way.

Pluto and Charon models (enhanced), courtesy of Software Bisque. www.seeker3d.com, with plumes and ice fields added by Mark C. Petersen, Loch Ness Productions. Star field from DigitalSky 2, courtesy Sky-Skan, Inc.

The plumes and brighter spots depicted at left on Charon are thought to be created as water (with some ammonia hydrate mixed in) "erupts" from deep beneath the surface. The material sprays out through cracks in the icy crust, immediately freezes and snows crystalline ice down onto the surface, creating a water-ammonia hydrate ice field.

 

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