Images Reveal Ice Mountains On Pluto

A new picture of Pluto's surface shows evidence of active geology and mountains.
A new picture of Pluto's surface shows evidence of active geology and mountains.

A new picture of Pluto’s surface shows evidence of active geology and mountains.

Pluto has mountains made of ice that are as high as those in the Rockies, images from New Horizons probe reveal. They also show signs of geological activity on Pluto and it’s moon Charon. On Wednesday, scientists presented the first pictures acquired by the New Horizons probe during its historic flyby. Mission scientist John Spencer told journalists that the first close up image of Pluto’s surface showed a terrain that had been resurfaced by some geological process- such as volcanism- within the last 100 years. “We have not found a single impact crater on this image. This means it must be a very young surface,” he said. This active geology needs some source of heat. Previously, such activity has only been seen on icy moons, where it can be explained by “tidal heating” caused by gravitational interactions with a large host planet. “You do not need tidal heating to power geologic activity on icy world’s. That’s a really important discovery we just made this morning,” said Dr Spencer. John Spencer said the relatively thin coating of methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen ice on Pluto’s surface was not strong enough to form mountains, so they were probably composed of Pluto’s water ice bedrock.

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Chukwunonso Azinge is a Public health parasitologist whose variety of intrests ranges from international news reportage, writing articles on current world issues and of course football. Follow me on Twitter @azingelfc and on Facebook- Nonso 'King Kenny' Azinge.

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