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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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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF