Pluto offers chilly reception

PHOTO: New Horizons sent back a close-up of Plutos surface.

Aloha – It has taken months, but the New Horizons flyby of Pluto last year has yielded some amazing photos.  Of course it takes time to meld together multiple images to get a clear shot like this one.  It could be confused as a million year old photo of Salt Lake Valley with the Wasatch in the background, and a frozen Lake Bonneville in the foreground.

Mountaineers would likely be drawn to this climbing adventure on a planet where mountains weren’t even expected to exist.

Earlier hypotheses suggest that the mountains were created by moving glaciers.  The glaciers themselves were not made from frozen water, but more likely frozen nitrogen.

The following gives a better hypothetical perspective

An annotated image of Sputnik Planum, illustrates icy planes, mountain ranges and cratered terrains.

The New Horizons flyby has of course created tremendous curiosity and desire to know more.  So future missions may be in the works.  Even so it could be decades before we get more than the enhanced images that are still coming forth from NASA scientists.

Doc

 

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