pluto's underground ocean possibility

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by varek, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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  2. scotthm

    scotthm Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That should be quite a show. I hope none of the debris heads our way.

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  3. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    What should be "quite a show"? A collision that took place probably millions of years ago?
     
  4. scotthm

    scotthm Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Pluto may join some other bodies in our solar system"

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  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Who cares? Pluto is not even a planet. Zing!
     
  6. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Dwarf Planets can be interesting too. Pluto may not be the closest Dwarf Planet or the largest one, but it is certainly the most studied one.
     
  7. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't you find the existence of water--perhaps the size of an ocean--on other bodies in our solar system amazing? For decades, scientists told us no such thing was possible, belonging only to the world of science fiction.

    Now, there's accumulating evidence that life-sustaining water has been (possibly, in some cases) found beyond the Earth?
     
  8. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Since hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, and 14+ billion years is A LOT of time to create plenty of oxygen, water should be quite common actually. I don't think that it was ever in the realm of fiction.

    The hard part is to find water in liquid state. It's either frozen or vapor because the bodies are too close or too far away from the sun.
     
  9. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While some of the stories you've been posting are interesting, I'd appreciate it if you'd link to some actual reputable news sources other than "Unexplained Mysteries". :rolleyes:
     
  10. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    Pluto is smaller than our moon. There would have to be some extraordinary circumstances involved for water to be in liquid form in it's interior.
     
  11. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    The relative lack of atmosphere also suggests to me some difficulties.
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the water is subsurface, is the lack of atmosphere really such a big problem? It will be prevented by a large crust from turning into vapour and escaping. Europa is almost certain to have a subsurface ocean, and has less atmosphere than Pluto. Ganymede and Callisto are also thought to have an ocean without any significant atmosphere.

    But more recently, Enceladus was revealed to posses an underground ocean as well. It's half the size and has a significantly smaller escape velocity than Pluto, and much like Pluto has a varied atmosphere (which is constantly escaping into space). So apparently, even at these conditions, a subsurface ocean is possible.

    However, unless New Horizons finds something interesting when it gets there, Enceladus is also significantly more interesting than Pluto is by any measure. We'll know in one year.
     
  13. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I guess that brings up the point of why this is news, then, if there are so many other planetary bodies with the same thing.
     
  14. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    Alidar Jarok, you may not be old enough to remember, but for decades the scientific community always used to scoff at any serious suggestion that water could be found anywhere else except on the Earth.

    Only recently did exploration find proof of water on Mars.

    Now that we have been apparently finding water elsewhere, it opens up considerable opportunities not only for colonization, but also some impetus for rethinking our concepts of our solar system.

    The fact that what was once considered sheer fantasy is now becoming accepted as scientific fact may show that we are making some progress.
     
  15. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    Forgive me, B.J. I was using a shortcut for late-breaking news. But, if you will notice, the sources for these stories often come from rather reputable sources, such as the BBC.

    However, for greater reputability, I will try to start following through, back to the original source, for verification.
     
  16. Taylirious

    Taylirious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Can we bottle it & sell it?
     
  17. scotthm

    scotthm Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The finding of water elsewhere in the solar system does not open up opportunities for colonization so much as lessen one of many obstacles.

    We have uninhabited lands on Earth that are many times easier to colonize than Mars and yet they're still deserted.

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