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Charon has Geysers too
SigurRosFan
post Jul 18 2007, 04:08 PM
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The only mechanism that explained the data was cryovolcanism, the eruption of liquids and gases in an ultra-cold environment.

This action could be occurring on timescales as short as a few hours or days, and at levels that would recoat Charon to a depth of one millimeter every 100,000 years.
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- Charon: An Ice Machine in the Ultimate Deep Freeze


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- blue_scape / Nico -
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Rob Pinnegar
post Jul 19 2007, 01:44 PM
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Hmm. This is interesting.

I wouldn't have thought that something as small as Charon could still have liquid water in its interior. This isn't like Enceladus or Miranda where a big gas-giant planet is available to power tidal heating.

Just to speculate: My understanding is that a lot of the Earth's uranium floated to the crustal layer during the planet's formation. You'd expect such a heavy element to sink, but uranium likes to combine chemically with oxygen, and that provides it with a lot of buoyancy.

On a body like Charon, though, the uranium would only be able to float to the top of the core -- where it would remain, insulated by a 500-km-deep layer of ice. So should we expect ice/rock bodies like Pluto, Charon and Triton to hold onto their radiothermal heat more efficiently than similarly-sized rocky bodies? (Assuming we could find any similarly sized rocky bodies, of course.)
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Littlebit
post Jul 23 2007, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Jul 19 2007, 07:44 AM) *
Just to speculate: My understanding is that a lot of the Earth's uranium floated to the crustal layer during the planet's formation. You'd expect such a heavy element to sink, but uranium likes to combine chemically with oxygen, and that provides it with a lot of buoyancy.

There is also the chromographic soil effect: At a nuclear facility near Hanford, Washington, extremely low concentration radioactive wastes were dumped in an evaporative sludge pond. Over time (probably decades), elements were chomographically separated in the clay, and a layer of high energy waste was concentrated naturally near the surface to an unnatrual level - almost self sustaining.

I also have a questionable account about how the problem was discovered: rabbits managed to get through the fence and nibble on grasses growing in the pond. Routine radioactive measurements taken outside of the fence uncovered radioactive rabbit pellets...
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Posts in this topic
- SigurRosFan   Charon has Geysers too   Jul 18 2007, 04:08 PM
- - elakdawalla   ...I'm working on a story right now...type fas...   Jul 18 2007, 04:18 PM
- - volcanopele   Very interesting! Okay...so now I am confused...   Jul 18 2007, 05:42 PM
- - climber   We know there are Geysers on Triton, now Charon, s...   Jul 18 2007, 06:00 PM
- - David   This is annoying: QUOTE Charon is the companion w...   Jul 18 2007, 08:32 PM
- - nprev   From Emily's excellent article (way to fly tho...   Jul 19 2007, 09:48 AM
|- - djellison   QUOTE (nprev @ Jul 19 2007, 10:48 AM) nic...   Jul 19 2007, 10:26 AM
- - Rob Pinnegar   Hmm. This is interesting. I wouldn't have th...   Jul 19 2007, 01:44 PM
|- - Littlebit   QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Jul 19 2007, 07:44 ...   Jul 23 2007, 05:54 PM
|- - Juramike   QUOTE (Littlebit @ Jul 23 2007, 01:54 PM)...   Jul 25 2007, 02:16 AM
- - Juramike   Wow. Would this then imply that we might expect a...   Jul 19 2007, 01:58 PM
- - remcook   If the surface is covered with fresh ice I can ima...   Jul 19 2007, 02:53 PM
- - marsbug   Apart from heat due to radioactive materials, are ...   Jul 19 2007, 03:06 PM
|- - Rob Pinnegar   QUOTE (marsbug @ Jul 19 2007, 09:06 AM) ....   Jul 21 2007, 07:24 PM
- - Littlebit   Charon - the ultimate in fresh powder skiing...or ...   Jul 19 2007, 03:07 PM
- - centsworth_II   Or would it be powder cross country, with few slop...   Jul 19 2007, 03:13 PM
- - Juramike   A current projected resurfacing rate of 1 mm/1E5 y...   Jul 19 2007, 03:18 PM
- - edstrick   So THAT'S where they filmed "Night of the...   Jul 24 2007, 06:58 AM
- - nprev   Only if the...er...evidence was the size of rugby ...   Jul 25 2007, 12:23 AM


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