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First Ever Close-Ups of Pluto Reveal Huge Icy Mountains

NASA shows off Pluto’s stunning icy mountains rising up to 11,000ft high in its first ever close up images from The New Horizons craft taken from approximately 480,000 miles away.

Upon Pluto’s icy surface, these huge mountains remain much younger than our solar system as NASA predicts they were formed less than 100 million years ago and can potentially still grow.

Jeff Moore, from NASA’s New Horizons’ Geology team, says these young mountains suggest Pluto is in an active and changing state. He shares his astonishment of this discovery stating: “This is one of the youngest surfaces we’ve ever seen in our solar system.”


Scientists are indefinite to how the dwarf planet formed these characteristics. This caused GCI deputy team leader, John Spencer, to “rethink what powers geological activity has on many other icy worlds”.

The images reveal Pluto’s youth due to the lack of craters which are common in other planets in our planetary body.

New pictures also show Pluto’s largest moon Charon. Similarly it has surprised scientists due to its lack of craters, indicating its youth.

The space probe also inspects Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos, other moons of the dwarf planet. Despite no high resolution images released, NASA’s initial observations show Hydra covered in ice.

The New Horizons craft travelled more than three billion miles to reach the Pluto, taking over nine and a half years. The successful mission has given scientists a deeper understanding of the dwarf planet in our solar system.

Henna Sharma


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