Scientists discover interior structure of mysterious dwarf planet Eris

Scientists discover interior structure of mysterious dwarf planet Eris

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Eris’ interior appears to be rocky beneath an ice shell, researchers said Wednesday. Pluto’s exterior is icy and rocky below, but it has a higher ice content and is thought to have an underground liquid ocean.

“We already knew that Eris is more rock-rich than Pluto, but we didn’t know whether Eris had rock separated from ice,” said Francis Nimmo, a planetary scientist at the University of California Santa Cruz. said the lead author of the published study. In Science Advances Journal.

“This means that Eris became hot enough to melt at some point in its history, causing all the rocks to sink to the center. The ice is not motionless, but is experiencing a slow churning motion, which from the inside Driven by residual heat. Most likely there is no liquid ocean inside Eris,” Nimmo said.

Eris has a diameter of about 1,445 miles (2,326 km), slightly smaller than Pluto’s 1,473 miles (2,370 km). By comparison, Earth’s Moon has a diameter of about 2,160 miles (3,475 km). Due to the greater concentration of rock, which is denser than ice, Eris has a mass about 25 percent greater than Pluto.

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