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Pluto’s ice-capped peaks are like Earth’s—but not – Ars Technica

Methane ice is accumulating up there for another reason.

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Enlarge/ What dusts the peaks of Cthulhu? is not an arcane riddle.
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We can often use our knowledge of planet Earth to explain the things we see on other worlds, although we may have to tweak the physics to account for a different temperature or a tenuous atmosphere. But planetary scientists cant always assume that a familiar landscape feature formed in a familiar way.
When the New Horizons spacecraft gave us our first close-up look at Pluto, there were alien wo…

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‘Lost’ tectonic plate called Resurrection hidden under the Pacific – Livescience.com

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Scientists have reconstructed a long-lost tectonic plate
that may have given rise to an arc of volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean 60 million years ago. 
The plate, dubbed Resurrection, has long been controversial among geophysicists, as some believe it never existed. But the new reconstruction puts the edge of the rocky plate along a line of known ancient volcanoes
, suggesting that it was once part of the crust (Earth’s top layer) in what is today northern Canada. 
“Volcanoes form at plate boundaries,…

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NASA releases never-before-seen pictures of Bennu, an asteroid that may hold the building blocks of life – Fox News

Following Tuesday’s historic touchdown on the asteroid Bennu, NASA has released never-before-seen images of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft kicking up rocks and debris…

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Following Tuesday’s historic touchdown on the asteroid Bennu, NASA has released never-before-seen images of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft kicking up rocks and debris on the space rock’s surface.
The images are from the point in time when OSIRIS-REx approached and touched down on the surface of Bennu, which is more than 200 million miles from Earth. 
“The spacecraft’s sampling arm – called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) – is visible in the lower part of the frame,” NASA wrote…

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Senior space officials met to “war game” Biden administration space policy – Ars Technica

This is one of the first gatherings of people who might craft a Biden space plan.

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Enlarge/ US Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a public memorial service for former astronaut and US Senator John Glenn at Ohio State University on December 17, 2016.
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On Tuesday about a dozen space officials met virtually to simulate how a National Space Council might operate during a Joe Biden administration, should the Democratic Party nominee win the 2020 presidential election.
The American Foreign Policy Council convened what it characterized…

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