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  Pluto's Scar

Dateline, Vancouver, December 2017
When the New Horizon probe passed by Pluto, that heart shaped area seemed interesting to me. To me it looks a whole lot like a scar from a glancing blow, and Charon is looking mighty suspicious.

Pluto's Scar

When the New Horizon probe began sending back photos of Pluto, I took a good look at the Sputnik Planum area. This is the left half of the heart shaped area that was visible long before the probe got there. Viewed closer up, it's a yellow square scrape mark on the surface, right next to a red area. People were speculating on why two entirely different areas are right next to each like that, and eventually scientists came to the conclusion that the yellow area is an old impact crater that was filled in with ice from below.

That sure sounds plausible, but when I first saw it I had a different idea. I thought that it looked like a glancing blow, and I guessed that Charon would have a matching scar. Turns out, Charon does have a matching scar, same color same shape.

So my theory is that millions of years ago, Charon was passing by when it collided with Pluto in a glancing blow. This caused it to slow down and get trapped in orbit, but without damaging either body. Some of the debris that was spewed out was also trapped in orbit as the smaller satellites.

Physicists don't seem to buy this idea, but there is a load of evidence to support it:
* Both Pluto and Charon have matching scars.
* Both scars are square shaped, which is what you'd expect from a glancing blow but not an impact crater.
* The red chemical on the Charon scar is the same stuff that was wiped away from the Pluto scar.
* This red chemical on both bodies is only in the impact area.
* The Pluto scar has a sharp leading edge and huge splash area on the trailing edge.
* Charon has a shattered equator, 90 degrees from the impact, as if the blow crushed the moon.
* The smaller moons are microscopic compared to Charon, as if they are debris from a minor collision.
* All of the moons are exactly on Pluto's equatorial plain.

But there is other evidence that doesn't support this theory, for example:
* The Pluto scar is twice the size as the Charon scar.
* The Charon scar has craters in it, which implies it is older.
* There are other ways to explain most of the evidence above.

But even with those problems, to me this looks a whole lot like a scar from a glancing blow,
and Charon is looking mighty suspicious.