Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Pluto Is “Strikingly Active,” New Images Show

Snakeskin Pluto? Image courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI.

Joel Kontinen

Our solar system frequently causes bewilderment for the current understanding of its age. Above all, planets and moons tend to be geologically active.

The latest images of Pluto are in keeping with this trend:

So far, Pluto has turned out to be strikingly active for an icy world 5 billion kilometres from the Sun. Nitrogen glaciers swirl around the base of towering mountains, which are held up by the sheer rigidity of ice frozen at about −235 °C, 38 degrees above absolute zero.”

Previous images sent by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft also indicated that Pluto looked surprisingly young and active.


Witze, Alexandra. 2015. 'Snakeskin' Pluto revealed in planetary close-up. Nature news (24 September).