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Pluto's Geology
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Putting Pluto's Geology on the Map

Images from NASA's New Horizons mission are showing that the surface of Pluto possesses an astonishing and unexpected geological diversity. To help make sense of this complexity and to piece together how Pluto's surface has formed and evolved over time, mission scientists construct geological maps like the one shown in this image.
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New Horizons Discovers Flowing Ices on Pluto

nh_04_mckinnon_02b.jpg

NASAs New Horizons mission has found evidence of exotic ices flowing across Pluto's surface, at the left edge of its bright heart-shaped area. New close-up images from the spacecraft's Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) reveal signs of recent geologic activity, something scientists hoped to find but didn't expect.
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Animated Flyover of Plutos Icy Mountain and Plains

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Discovers Frozen Plains in the Heart of Pluto's 'Heart'

Sputnik Plain 
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI 

In the center left of Pluto's vast heart-shaped feature informally named "Tombaugh Regio" - lies a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto's icy mountains and has been informally named Sputnik Planum (Sputnik Plain), after Earth's first artificial satellite. The surface appears to be divided into irregularly-shaped segments that are ringed by narrow troughs. Features that appear to be groups of mounds and fields of small pits are also visible. This image was acquired by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14 from a distance of 77,000 kilometers. Features as small as 1 kilometer across are visible. The blocky appearance of some features is due to compression of the image.
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The Icy Mountains of Pluto

New close-up images of a region near Pluto's equator reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 3,500 meters above the surface of the icy body.
The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago -- mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system -- and may still be in the process of building

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The Icy Mountains of Pluto 360 spin

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New Horizons LORRI Image

lor_0299124574_0x632_sci_1.jpg 
Time: 2015-07-13 20:17:35 UTC 


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New Horizons Pluto Surface 15.07.15

New Horizons Pluto Surface 15.07.15 

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute



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Pluto: What have we learned so far?

For 60 years scientists have known that there was a bright mass on Pluto, but it was only through the increased resolution provided by the cameras on board New Horizons that detailed its distinctive heart shape.
The shape, instantly beloved on social media, is believed to have been caused by an impact at some point in history. One side of the heart is smoother than the other. Researchers believe the crater is filled with frozen gases from the atmosphere - namely nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide.

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