NASA’s New Horizon Captures Mysterious Floating Hills On Pluto

Posted: Feb 5 2016, 8:00am CST | by , Updated: Feb 5 2016, 10:05pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

Pluto’s Mysterious Floating Hills Revealed
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  • Pluto’s Mysterious Floating Hills Revealed

A series of strange and weird floating hills have been spotted on the surface of the planet Pluto. They have intrigued scientists and astronomers alike.

One thing is for sure, nitrogen ice glaciers exist on Pluto. These glaciers carry a lot of other flotsam and jetsam on their surface. Among these are many singular hills that may actually be fragmentary remains of water ice from the depths of Pluto itself.

The bizarre hills are many miles or kilometers in their dimensions. NASA’s New Horizons mission took some close-up images and pics of the planet. These hills were captured in real time in these photographs.

The hills are a part of the Sputnik Planum, which is a large icy plain on the surface of Pluto. It lies in the very heartland of Pluto and the hills are replicas of the mountains on the western hemisphere of Pluto.

The planet which lies on the outer edge of the solar system is a fine example of geological activity at its best and most varied. Water ice is less thicker than nitrogen ice.

Thus the water ice hills are floating on a sea of freezing nitrogen. The scenario is one of many icebergs that are constantly travelling on the surface.

The hills are fragmentary remains of rugged mountains that lie in the upper regions. They may have separated some time ago and come to float on the nitrogen ice.

They show flow to boot. And when they gain entry into the Sputnik Planum, they become subject to the convectional currents of the nitrogen ice. The hills thus form clumps which seem to be a natural phenomenon.

Towards the northern region lies a feature called the Challenger Colles. This is named in honorable memory of the tragedy that was the Space Shuttle Challenger that fell to earth in the mid 80s. It is seemingly a large agglomeration of these selfsame hills.

The Challenger Colles is located towards the upland area. The hills may have been stranded in these loci. The images caught by the New Horizons mission are crystal clear and fascinating in the overall scenario they present before all curious sky-gazers.

Now that we have received such glowing pics of the planet, which lies outside the scope of the solar system, it is time to discover and explore other worlds which lie beyond our ken.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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