Frozen Plains Glimpsed on Pluto

It hasn’t been since Voyager 2 reached Neptune in 1989 that humanity has had a first look at a new world, and it’s the last time it’s going to happen.


“They are very active”.

That region is being named the “Tombaugh Reggio” in honor of Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto in 1930. This is the first observation of Pluto’s atmosphere at altitudes higher than 170 miles above the surface (270 kilometers).

The video also shows the vast craterless plains located next to the mountains, called the “Sputnik Planum” suggesting that the planet is geologically young – about 100 million-years-old, La Times reported. Even more enigmatic are clusters of hills, or clumps that trace the shapes of the troughs and encircle the polygons.

Another unexpected feature of the vast heart-shaped field is a disproportionately high concentration of carbon monoxide. By August the team hopes to calculate how fast Pluto is losing its atmosphere to space – and how quickly the icy world is shrinking.

Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI) at Bagenal said: “What we think is happening is that the solar wind will eventually interact with this escaping atmosphere and may produce a shock upstream”.

The mountains of Pluto. At the time, I pictured science teachers across the country having to dismantle parts of their classroom to demote Pluto.

The Heart of the Heart of Pluto, a large plain, has been imaged from 48,000 miles out and then analyzed by astronomers, and the results are surprising. But this is no normal ice: It’s so cold that it has become as dense as rock.

One of the highlights of the video are mountain ranges called the Norgay Montes.

Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado, added, “We’ve only scratched the surface of our Pluto exploration, but it already seems clear to me that in the initial reconnaissance of the solar system, the best was saved for last”.

However it’s also possible they have been thrust upwards by activity generated by a molten core. The political wrangling over Pluto’s status, the weird discoveries and New Horizons’ continuing quest worked via synergy to increase public interest in and support for our mission, which in turn energized the team. What is the latest mystery to come from this frigid dwarf planet? It has five known moons of its own (and what self-respecting moon doesn’t have a planet?). However, this would eliminate its ability to take photos. The ions are “picked up” by the solar wind and carried in its flow past the dwarf planet to form an ion or plasma tail (blue region).

It’s why Charon and Pluto swing about each other, orbiting a piece of space between them.

At the moment, there’s no talk of yet another reclassification for this unusual couple.

The probe has only shared a small fraction of its data from the flyby. I attended as an intern and absolutely loved it. After that, I started listening a little bit more to my parents when they argued their sides on Pluto. It’s big. It’s red.


“And we’re really looking forward to getting that data in a moth or two, but it’s really tantalizing right now and we’re able to do science with it”, Moore said.

1979 painting of Pluto turns out to be eerily accurate -