Why do Pluto and Charon have so few small craters?


The small members of the Kuiper belt – that is, objects with a diameter of two kilometers or less – are obviously rare. Researchers at Kelsi Singer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, come to this conclusion. They examined the distributions of the crater of the dwarf planet Pluto and its major moon Charon. They found that impact craters, due to the impact of Kuiper belt objects with diameters less than two kilometers, are much rarer than previously thought.

Researchers then suspect that small objects in the Kuiper belt are much rarer and that objects are mostly left unchanged from the formation of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago. These ideas are supported by the recent observations of the New Horizons space probe, which explored the small Ultima Thule of Kuipergürtelteljeje at the beginning of 2019. Its surface shows only small pits, where it is still unclear whether it is a crater from impact.



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