On Saturday, NASA posted a stunning image on Instagram taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, showing Pluto’s true colors. The image, taken at a distance of 22,025 miles (35,445 kilometers) from Pluto, also shows its “heart” – a massive glacier made of nitrogen and methane. Pluto’s surface is covered in ice made of water, methane, and nitrogen and is thought to have a rocky core and possibly a deep ocean.
NASA explained Pluto’s surface as cracked and fissured, and has a white, tan, and red-brown color. As the white and tan descend the top of the image to meet the brown and red surface, the partially visible “heart” can be seen in white.
The space agency shared an image of Pluto and described it as “a small planetary body Saturday? Taken by our New Horizons spacecraft at a distance of 22,025 miles (35,445 kilometers), this image shows Pluto’s true colors, including the dwarf planet’s ‘heart’.” A glacier the size of Texas and Oklahoma is made of nitrogen and methane.
See the picture here:
Orbiting at a distance of 3.7 billion miles (5.9 billion km), New Horizons is the first spacecraft to visit Pluto and is expected to explore the Kuiper Belt – a region thought to be full of small bodies left over from our planet’s creation. NASA said the solar system.
Pluto was once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, however, in 2006 it was downgraded and reclassified as a dwarf planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded Pluto to a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet. A “dwarf planet”, as defined by the International Astronomical Union, is a celestial body in direct orbit of the Sun that is massive enough that its shape is controlled by gravitational forces rather than mechanical forces but which has not cleared its vicinity from other bodies.
Pluto is 1,400 miles (2,250 km) across, about half the width of the United States or two-thirds the width of the Moon. With an average temperature of -387 F (-232 C) – Pluto’s surface is covered in ice made of water, methane, and nitrogen and is thought to have a rocky core and possibly a deep ocean.
Another distinct feature on Pluto’s surface is a large heart-shaped region known informally as the Tombaugh Regio, according to Space.Com. The left side of the area (an ice cream cone-shaped area) is covered in carbon monoxide snow. Other differences in the composition of surface materials have been identified within Pluto’s “core”.
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