Primordial N2 provides a cosmochemical explanation for the existence of Sputnik Planitia, Pluto

  title={Primordial N2 provides a cosmochemical explanation for the existence of Sputnik Planitia, Pluto},
  author={Christopher R. Glein and Jack Hunter Waite},
Abstract The presence of N2 in the surface environment of Pluto is critical in creating Pluto's richness of features and processes. Here, we propose that the nitrogen atoms in the N2 observed on Pluto were accreted in that chemical form during the formation of Pluto. We use New Horizons data and models to estimate the amounts of N2 in the following exterior reservoirs: atmosphere, escape, photochemistry, and surface. The total exterior inventory is deduced to be dominated by a glacial sheet of… 

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