NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft recently sent images of what they believe is an ice volcano that spits out ice rather than lava as like volcanoes on Earth.
The spacecraft successfully completed flyby last July 14, 2015 and it change history as it was the first time that humans was able to see the planet that close. It was one of the momentous moments for any scientists because we slowly get to understand the planet bit by bit.
It has been six months since humans see the planet up close but the surprise seemed like endless until now. Yesterday, NASA unveiled new images they received from the spacecraft that showed an object which the suspect is an ice volcano located just below the famous heart of Pluto. They called the mysterious land formation “Wright Mons” after the Wright brothers who pioneered the mission. The ice volcano, or cryovolcano, measured 90 miles across and stood 2.5 miles in height. And if NASA confirms that Wright Mons is an ice volcano, then it would be the largest ever known in the entire Solar system.
The mission scientists are still waiting for more data to fully understand the landscape and confirm if it is indeed a volcano. They speculate that this formation spits out frozen ice, ammonia, methane and nitrogen – which is very much different from volcanoes on Earth.
Earlier reports have already mentioned that the team is looking at the huge possibility that there could be ice volcanoes on Pluto.
NASA scientist Oliver White of Ames Research Center in California said that, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in the outer solar system. Whatever they are, they’re definitely weird.”
Today, the spacecraft is on its way towards the Kuiper Belt for its extended and last mission before it finally retires of duty a few years from now.
Source: Youth Health Mag