Pluto may have ice caps at its poles, according to detailed new pictures.
Pluto is so far away from earth that our past pictures of it showed us nothing more than a dot. However, as the Horizons spacecraft closes the distance, at a mind boggling 750,000 miles a day, it will soon give us crisp images of the dwarf planet, giving us an idea of the former planet’s composition and surface for the first time.
According to Jim Green, NASA’s Director of Planetary Science “As New Horizons closes in on Pluto, it’s transforming from a point of light to a planetary object of intense interest.” “We’re in for an exciting ride for the next seven weeks.”
Also, from the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, New Horizons principal investigator, Alan Stern, said that “These new images show us that Pluto’s differing faces are each distinct; likely hinting at what may be very complex surface geology or variations in surface composition from place to place.”
“These images also continue to support the hypothesis that Pluto has a polar cap whose extent varies with longitude; we’ll be able to make a definitive determination of the polar bright region’s iciness when we get compositional spectroscopy of that region in July.”