Pluto Looks Like Earth NASA Photos Reveals There Are Sand Dunes on Pluto

This image taken during the New Horizons mission shows the mountain range on the edge of the Sputnik Planitia ice plain, with dune formations clearly visible in the bottom half of the picture. Embargoed 19:00 BST Thursday (31-MAY-2018 14:00 ET) The dwarf planet Pluto is covered with dunes – but are made out of tiny grains of solid methane not sand like on Earth. Despite its low atmosphere, moderate surface thermal winds of between 30 and 40 kmh had sufficient force to shift the solid grains of frozen gas into tell-tale ridges with a stripped effect. The surprising discovery was made by images captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft which flew past Pluto in July 2015. Until now it had been a mystery how the dunes formed on the planet which has an atmosphere 0.001 per cent as thick as Earth’s. The discovery adds Pluto to a list where dunes are known to form including Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan and Comet 67P. Dr Matt Telfer, Lecturer in Physical Geography at the University of Plymouth, said: “We knew that every solar system body with an atmosphere and a solid rocky surface has dunes on it, but we didn’t know what we’d find on Pluto. “It turns out that even though there is so little atmosphere, and the surface temperature is around -230C, we still get dunes forming.”

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