NASA shares mesmerising photo of 'heart-shaped' glacier on Pluto

NASA shares mesmerising photo of 'heart-shaped' glacier on Pluto

May 29, 2023 - 21:30
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NASA shares mesmerising photo of 'heart-shaped' glacier on Pluto

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) regularly provides space enthusiasts with updates on the latest discoveries related to galaxies, stars, and planets within our solar system. It also shares captivating images captured by its spacecraft. In its most recent post, NASA dropped a photograph of a glacier on Pluto’s surface, which was shaped like a heart. The space agency shared this stunning image on Instagram, accompanied by the caption, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” The photo was captured by the New Horizons spacecraft.

NASA went on to provide further details about the heart-shaped glacier on Pluto’s surface, which is surrounded by mountains, valleys, cliffs, craters, and plains. Scientists believe that the glacier primarily consists of methane and nitrogen ice.

The caption informed that Pluto is situated in the Kuiper Belt, which is a circular area composed of icy celestial objects. These remnants, which exist beyond the orbit of Neptune, date back to the early stages of the solar system. Typically, this small icy celestial body is approximately 5.9 billion kilometres away from the Sun. Due to its oval-shaped orbit, Pluto’s revolutions around the Sun can occasionally bring it closer than Neptune, resulting in the expansion of its thin atmosphere.


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The post received a wide range of reactions, with some people calling Pluto their favourite. A user wrote, “Wow, Pluto is showing us a heart. Love this great photo of Pluto planet, let’s send Disney Pluto to explore that.”

“Wouahh what a great capture, thanks to New Horizon space craft,” an account remarked.

In January 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft was launched, and it successfully arrived on Pluto in July 2015. During its mission, it came within a distance of 12,552.88 kilometres from Pluto’s surface, making it the first probe to fly by the dwarf planet and its moons.

Pluto, which was previously recognised as the ninth planet in our solar system, underwent a reclassification in 2006 and was designated as a dwarf planet. The decision to downgrade Pluto’s status to was made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU determined that Pluto did not fulfil the three criteria that put in the category of a full-sized planet.

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