• Pluto in a Minute: What's Shaping Pluto's Surface?

    62,287 views 4 years ago
    It's turns out Pluto is neat-lookin', but what's shaping that surface? This is Pluto in a Minute.

    The short answer is there are a lot of processes shaping Pluto's landscapes, and some of them are familiar from our earthly experiences. We know that Pluto has an atmosphere, albeit an extremely rarified one about equivalent to the Earth's mesosphere, which is about 50 miles above the surface. That atmopshere may be extremely rare, but we do know there are hazes on Pluto, and telltale waves in that haze tell us there is wind, so wind erosion could be one factor shaping Pluto's landscape.

    Craters are another way Pluto could be being resurfaced. Meteorites hitting the surface create the giant impact craters but they also blast out ejecta that could blanket surrounding areas.

    And of course, in some of the latest LORRI images we see evidence of ice flows. These large, moving, frozen masses could have reshaped Pluto's surface as they moved along. This is definitely something the New Horizons team will be looking for, but in the meantime, for more news on Pluto check out the New Horizons websites, join the conversation online with the hashtag #PlutoFlyby, and of course keep coming back for more Pluto in a Minute!

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