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Methane snow on Pluto's mountains

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posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 06:47 AM
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The New Horizon's team found something very interesting and exotic on Pluto - methane "snow" on Pluto's peaks in the dark region nicknamed Cthulhu Regio.




The upper slopes of the highest peaks are coated with a bright material that contrasts sharply with the dark red color of the surrounding plains.

Scientists think this bright material could be predominantly methane that has condensed as ice onto the peaks from Pluto's atmosphere. "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," said John Stansberry, a New Horizons science team member from Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.


www.nasa.gov...

There's something interesting I spotted in the published image. There are some orange streaks in one of the craters:



I wonder what those are, i.e. what they are made of.

Also, I wonder if it ever actually snows on Pluto, or does the frost "grow" directly on the surface?
edit on 4-3-2016 by wildespace because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-3-2016 by wildespace because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 07:36 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

Orange flavor methane snow cones.

mmm, frosty.



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 07:53 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

Anyway, good eye.

I imagine as that crater cooled, the 'red soil' mixed with the cooling methane , running down the slope 'like' an avalanche slurry or whatever.



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: wildespace




posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 09:33 AM
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Thanks for sharing, Wildespace. This flyby of Pluto is history in the making and I'm interested to see everything that is learned from this event.
edit on 4-3-2016 by lostbook because: word change



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:47 PM
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Amazing to think that just 10 years ago no one knew anything about Pluto, nothing about the Dwarf planets, nothing about things like the jets coming from Enceledus, knew not much about the surface of comets...

Our knowledge of our solar system has exploded the last decade. So exciting to be alive and witness all these discoveries.

Thanks for posting this



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:52 PM
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Wildespace, i sent you a private message



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: wildespace

Cool post, did you see the one where they are speculating about seeing clouds? If there are clouds, maybe the ice would form from them...

New Scientist: Clouds on Pluto?



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