Latest images released by NASA’s New Horizons probe show Pluto’s most identifiable feature has snow on its peaks.
Scientists say what they see as snow, is actually frozen methane condensed on Pluto’s “Cthulhu” (pronounced kuh-THU-lu) peaks. “Cthulhu” is one of the most notable on the tiny world, stretching nearly halfway around Pluto’s equator.
Its appearance is characterized by a dark surface which scientists believe is covered with complex molecules that form, when methane is exposed to sunlight.
The latest images show a reddish mountain range. The highest peaks are covered with a bright material that contrasts sharply with the dark red color of the surrounding plains.
“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,” John Stansberry, a New Horizons science team member from Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, said in statement.
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