Pluto may have huge ocean under icy surface, NASA evidence shows

Pluto may have a huge hidden ocean under its frozen surface, scientists have found.New evidence, reported in two research papers published in Nature journal, suggests the existence of an ocean containing as much water as all of Earth’s seas - which could potentially be a habitat for life.The findings are based on observations by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which made an unprecedented flyby of the dwarf planet and its moons in 2015. Scientists say the ocean, which is likely slushy with ice, is about 62 miles deep and believed to lie 93 to 124 miles beneath the planet’s crust.Liquid water is considered one of the essential ingredients for life.Massachusetts Institute of Technology planetary scientist and project researcher Richard Binzel said Pluto was not a prime candidate, due to its ocean being covered by so much ice.However, he said that “one is careful to never say the word impossible”.

A deep subsurface ocean is not too surprising, especially if the ocean contains ammonia, which acts like an antifreeze.

Francis Nimmo, University of California Santa Cruz planetary scientist