Geology before Pluto: Pre-encounter considerations

Details

Date
Tuesday, May 19 2015 - 12:00 pm, PDT
Speaker
Jeff Moore
Affiliation
NASA Ames
Description

The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be imminently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto system’s landscapes. I will give with a brief discussion of the planned observations by the New Horizons cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability.

Then I will review the major geological processes that could potentially operate on the surfaces of Pluto and its major moon Charon. I will briefly survey exogenic processes (i.e. those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration), and the work of wind. I will conclude with an assessment of the prospects for endogenic activity in the form of tectonics and cryovolcanism.

 

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