NASA: “Pluto Has Big Mountains Made of Ice”

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The Ice Mountains of Pluto via New Horizons spacecraft
The Ice Mountains of Pluto via New Horizons spacecraft

Unless you’ve been under a rock recently, you know that NASA sent its New Horizons spacecraft 3.6 Billion miles to Pluto and it flew past the former planet two days ago.  It flew within 7,700 miles of Pluto’s surface while flying 28,000 mph and took some killer photos.  Our first ever high resolution photos of Pluto.

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The first thing scientists noticed about Pluto is that it has big mountains.

“They would stand up respectably against the Rocky Mountains.” – John Spencer, a planetary scientist on the New Horizons mission

 Pluto via New Horizons spacecraft
Pluto via New Horizons spacecraft

These mountains are important because it’s thought they are made of water ice.

“The steep topography means that the bedrock that makes those mountains must be made of H2O — of water ice.  We can be very sure that the water is there in great abundance.”- Alan Stern, principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

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“Who would have supposed that there were ice mountains?”

“It’s just blowing my mind.” – Hal Weaver, another New Horizons project scientist.


Pluto might no longer be a planet, but it still looks pretty damn cool to us.

Why isn’t Pluto a Planet?

Brain Post: Pluto… Why It’s No Longer a Planet

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