For a world that is totally out of our reach, Pluto is a celestial body that deserves all the attention it can get for its dark beauty. A new image released by NASA shows this world’s atmosphere lit up by a faraway sun.
NASA declared that the layers of haze depicted in the photo are way higher than anticipated. The photo was taken by New Horizons on July 14, seven hours after the close-up on the dark planet, and from a distance of approximately 1.25 million miles away.
What is so amazing about this image is that it reveals that Pluto is still a planet that is developing. According to the previous images, Pluto is a planet that has no craters and it is thought to be neither younger, nor older than 100 million years old. NASA believes that the frozen region that engulfs the planet “is still possibly being shaped by geologic processes”.
Back in 2006, Pluto lost its status as a planet and redefined as a “dwarf planet”. But now that we know how old it is and compare it to our 4.5 billion year old solar system, we might as well call Pluto our systems little baby.
Jeff Moore, who is the leader of NASA’s New Horizons Geology, stated that the icy terrain might not be as easy to explain as they had expected.
The fact that the surface of the planet presents no impact crater whatsoever and the young, vast plains are what is so exciting about the discovery. Moore also said that this was never expected when scientists were discovering Horizons’ encounter with the dwarf planet. It simple exceeds all other previous expectations.
Pluto’s home is the Kuiper Belt. The region is literally filled with icy objects, thus specialists expected the dwarf planet’s surface not to be plain at all. Scientists are still baffled that the planet presented absolutely no impact crater.
Pluto also has gigantic ice mountains that reveal more than “dwarf planet” features. Scientists are very sure of water’s presence on the dark world. Needless to say, this world cannot sustain life because of its distance from the sun and the decreased temperatures, but the ice mountains are formed of water in its solid form.
Experts are waiting for the entire data collected by New Horizons, but it is going to take about 16 months to collect all the information gathered by the spacecraft during its fly-by.
Photo Credits dailymail.co.uk