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New Horizons data hints there are few small Kuiper belt bodies

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Adolfo Lorenzo
Mar 01, 2019 12:36
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Researchers at the Southwest Research Institute have been pouring over data that NASA’s New Horizons probe recorded in 2015 on its flyby of Pluto and Charon.

One of the surprising things they have discovered in their study is that there are few impact craters on Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, indicating there are few small impactors in the Kuiper Belt.

Specifically, the researchers noted a lack of impact craters on Charon that would be caused by objects in the 300-feet to 1 mile in diameter range.

The data indicates impactors in that size range are rare in the Kuiper Belt.

Craters on the surface of objects in the solar system are used to record the impact of smaller bodies.

That data gives scientists hints about the history of the objects they are studying.

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Adolfo Lorenzo
Mar 01, 2019 12:36
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