Pluto Is A Surreal World, Flyby Reveals

Posted: Oct 18 2015, 5:46am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 18 2015, 3:10pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Pluto Is a Surreal World, Flyby Reveals
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

New Horizons team has released the details of diverse findings from the dwarf planet.

Three months after the historic July 14 flyby of Pluto, the New Horizons team has released the details of diverse and fascinating findings from the dwarf planet.

During its close approach to Pluto system at a distance of 13,691 km, New Horizon spacecraft found a wide variety of landforms, substantial variations in color and composition, water ice rich crust as well as multiple haze layers in Pluto’s atmosphere.

“We knew Pluto’s surface was heterogeneous based on ground-based data. However, I was astonished to see such spectacular surface color and geological diversity,” Silvia Protopapa, astronomer from University of Maryland and one of the authors of the study said.

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

Charon, the largest moon of the dwarf planet is very large in comparison to its parent body. The sizes of the smallest of its five moons, Nix and Hydra were also measured during this closest ever approach to dwarf planet.

“The Pluto system surprised us in many ways, most notably teaching us that small planets can remain active billions of years after their formation,” said principal investigator and lead author Alan Stern. “We were also taught important lessons by the degree of geological complexity that both Pluto and its large moon Charon display.”

The high resolution image of Pluto shows puzzling patterns and pits. The dark red regions at Pluto’s equator contain very little volatile ice while the western section of the iconic heart, informally called Sputnik Planum, is found rich in nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane ices and the blue are high latitude areas.

Pluto is not only diverse but a geologically active world as well and changes are still taking place on its surface. Pluto’s diverse geology and apparent activity also raises many questions about how it has remained active many billions of years after its formation.

Pluto’s still got an engine, and it’s still running.” Stern said.

Pluto was discovered in 1930 and was thought to be misfit in the solar system until the discovery of Kuiper-belt late in the century. Kuiper-belt is a torus shaped region in solar system, which contains many dwarf planets like Eris, Makemake and Haumea. It is a possibility that they can also have complex histories like Pluto.

The findings were published on October 16 issue of Science Mag.

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author


Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus