NASA Spots Snow On Pluto’s Mountain Peaks
Forecast says: snow on Pluto.
Images collected by the New Horizons spacecraft show “exotic snowcapped mountains” in the southeast corner of the Cthulhu Regio, a dark stretch of the dwarf planet approximately the size of Alaska, according to NASA.
Scientists believe the snow is composed mostly of frozen methane that condensed from Pluto’s atmosphere.
“That this material coats only the upper slopes of the peaks suggests methane ice may act like water in Earth’s atmosphere, condensing as frost at high altitude,” said John Stansberry, a New Horizons scientist.
Color-enhanced photos released by NASA show the mountain range where the snow was found. Reddish areas highlight the plains, craters and valleys around the mountains. The bright, light-colored peaks are believed to be coated in frozen methane.
The images are the latest to be published from data collected during the New Horizon’s July 2015 flyby of Pluto. Last week, NASA shared stunning pictures of the dwarf planet’s frozen canyons.
Pluto’s weather report also made recent headlines when NASA released images of the first clouds ever recorded there.
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