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NASA's New Horizons discovers frozen, craterless plains in heart of Pluto

US space agency, NASA, on Friday released the new images of the dwarf planet Pluto taken by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) during Tuesday's historic flyby.


NASA's New Horizons discovers frozen, craterless plains in heart of Pluto
Photo credit: NASA

New Delhi: US space agency, NASA, on Friday released the new images of the dwarf planet Pluto taken by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) during Tuesday's historic flyby.

New Horizons has discovered frozen plains in the heart of the dwarf planet which appears to be no more than 100 million years old and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes.

The icy plains region has been informally named “Sputnik Planum” after the Earth’s first artificial satellite. 

The surface's features might be signs of convection, caused by heat from within the planet.

The “heart of the heart” image which NASA had released on Tuesday was taken when New Horizons was 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometres) from dwarf planet Pluto which shows the features as small as one-half mile (1 kilometre) across.

After traveling more than 3 billion miles over the past nine and a half years, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto Tuesday, July 14, about 7,750 miles above the surface- making it the first-ever space mission to explore the icy planet.

From Zee News

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