A Giant Impact Origin of Pluto-Charon

  title={A Giant Impact Origin of Pluto-Charon},
  author={Rhys E Green and Stephen J. Cornell and J{\"o}rn P. W. Scharlemann and Andrew Balmford},
Pluto and its moon, Charon, are the most prominent members of the Kuiper belt, and their existence holds clues to outer solar system formation processes. Here, hydrodynamic simulations are used to demonstrate that the formation of Pluto-Charon by means of a large collision is quite plausible. I show that such an impact probably produced an intact Charon, although it is possible that a disk of material orbited Pluto from which Charon later accumulated. These findings suggest that collisions… CONTINUE READING