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Planetary science

Pluto's polygons explained

The Sputnik Planum basin of Pluto contains a sheet of nitrogen ice, the surface of which is divided into irregular polygons tens of kilometres across. Two studies reveal that vigorous convection causes these polygons. See Letters p.79 & 82

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Figure 1: Sputnik Planum.

NASA/Johns Hopkins Univ. Appl. Physics Lab./ Southwest Res. Inst.


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Dombard, A., O'Hara, S. Pluto's polygons explained. Nature 534, 40–41 (2016).

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