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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This is a drawing of the interior of Pluto.
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA

Pluto's Interior

The diagram to the left shows a cutaway of the possible interior structure of Pluto. The composition of Pluto is mostly ice, therefore there is probably a small core of some rocky material buried inside, overlain with mantles of ice of various phases.

If the interior is warm enough, there may be enough energy for interior convection, or the turning over of layers inside Pluto. This type of interior motion leaves clues on the surface of a planet. (Surface plate tectonics is a big clue about interior motions of the Earth). These clues are important to search for now, while the surface of Pluto may still be exposed.


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Of all the planets and moons in the solar system, Pluto and Charon are the two which resemble each other the most closely. They are almost the same size, and they are very close together. They are so...more

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A Look at Pluto's possible Magnetosphere

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA