Advertisements

Another Mountain Range Discovered on Pluto

LORRI camera images of Pluto from July 13 (left) and July 14 (right) – the enlarged area shows a second mountain range on the border of Tombaugh Regio. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI. Edit by Jason Major).

LORRI camera images of Pluto from July 13 (left) and July 14 (right) – the enlarged area shows a second mountain range on the border of Tombaugh Regio. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI. Edit by Jason Major).

A new image from New Horizons has emerged, showing a new, smaller mountain range on the southwestern border of Pluto’s “heart” region. The image was captured during the July 14 flyby, during which time the spacecraft passed less than 8,000 miles from the planet’s surface.

This new cluster of mountains are much less lofty than the Norgay Montes, seen in the first flyby image, which rise nearly 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) from the surrounding terrain. Rather than Rocky Mountains these are more like the Appalachians, 0.5 to 1 mile (1–1.5 km) in height. But they’re not far away from the previous range, only about 68 miles to the northeast.

These mountains rise about 1-1.5 km from the surrounding icy plains.

These mountains rise about 1-1.5 km from the surrounding icy plains.

The mountains lie at the sharp border between the light-colored terrain of western Tombaugh Regio (the heart) and much darker terrain to the west.

“There is a pronounced difference in texture between the younger, frozen plains to the east and the dark, heavily-cratered terrain to the west,” said Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. “There’s a complex interaction going on between the bright and the dark materials that we’re still trying to understand.”

Information on these features and more will be presented during a news briefing at NASA HQ on Friday, July 24 at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC). (You can tune in to that via the NASA TV link in the header bar above.)

Source: NASA

Advertisements

About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on July 21, 2015, in Dwarf Planets, Pluto and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I’ve spent a lot of time just staring at those photos thinking about what they mean and what it took to get them. The word “awesome” is so overused these days that it doesn’t really even begin to describe the feeling.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Die erste Nahaufnahme Plutos – nun komplett | Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null

  2. Pingback: Another Mountain Range Discovered on Pluto | Stories of Sandeept

  3. Pingback: Another Mountain Range Discovered on Pluto | Science and Society

  4. Pingback: Morsels For The Mind – 24/07/2015 › Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast

  5. Pingback: Pluto Is the New Science Star of the Solar System | Lights in the Dark

%d bloggers like this: