Status Report

New Investigations of Dark Floored Pits in the Volatile Ice of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto

By SpaceRef Editor
September 2, 2021
Filed under , ,

S. Alan Stern, Brian Keeney, Rachael Hoover, Silvia Protopapa, Oliver White, Will Grundy, Dale P. Cruikshank, the New Horizons Team

Sputnik Planitia, Pluto’s gigantic ice glacier, hosts numerous scientific mysteries, including the presence of thousands of elongated pit structures. We examine various attributes of these pit structures in New Horizons data sets, revealing their length, aspect ratios, and orientation properties; we also study their interior reflectivities, colors, and compositions, and compare these attributes to some other relevant regions on Pluto. We then comment on origin mechanisms of the pits and also the fate of the missing volatiles represented by the pits on Sputnik Planitia.

Comments: 36 pages, 14 figures

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:2109.01025 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2109.01025v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: S. Alan SternĀ 

[v1] Thu, 2 Sep 2021 15:37:49 UTC (2,059 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.