Santa Cruz CA (SPX) Nov 16, 2016
Sputnik Planitia, which forms one side of the famous heart-shaped feature seen in the first New Horizons images, is suspiciously well aligned with Pluto's tidal axis. The likelihood that this is just a coincidence is only 5 percent, so the alignment suggests that extra mass in that location interacted with tidal forces between Pluto and its moon Charon to reorient Pluto, putting Sputnik Planitia directly opposite the side facing Charon. But a deep basin seems unlikely to provide the extra mass needed to cause that kind of reorientation.
"It's a big, elliptical hole in the ground, so the extra weight must be hiding somewhere beneath the surface. And an ocean is a natural way to get that," said Francis Nimmo, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz and first author of a paper on the new findings published in Nature [http://www.nature.com].
Continue Reading at .... http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Analysis_Supports_Subsurface_Ocean_on_Pluto_999.html