News Archive / Tagged: Sputnik Planum
Computer models based on data collected by the New Horizons mission team are shedding light on the formation and structure of Sputnik Planum, the left side of Pluto's iconic 'heart' feature.
The process of convection regularly resurfaces the ices that comprise the polygonal terrain of Pluto's Sputnik Planum – an area of 900,000 square kilometers on the left side of its 'heart' feature – approximately every 500,000 years.
When it gets as cold as it does in the outer Solar System... things get strange. This was demonstrated in recent imagery provided by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft currently on its way to its secondary target, 2014 MU69. Hills of water ice appear to be 'floating' on glaciers made of frozen nitrogen in pictures beamed back by the spacecraft.