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Pluto's snow-capped mountains look like they belong on Earth, but they're entirely different


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Pluto's snow-capped mountains look like they belong on Earth, but they're entirely different

Pluto's snow-capped mountains look like they belong on Earth, but researchers have discovered that the snowy tops of these features are actually made of methane frost.

These mountains gather snow in a way entirely unlike anywhere else in the solar system.

The NASA New Horizon probe flew by Pluto in 2015, providing our closest and most detailed view of the dwarf planet to date. The probe revealed features that resembled those stunning snow-capped chains of mountains on Earth.

It's yet another discovery made using New Horizons data that changes the way scientists understand Pluto.

The dwarf planet exists on the edge of our solar system in a place called the Kuiper Belt, where icy, old remnants of the solar system's formation orbit the sun at such a great distance that they remain like frozen time capsules.

Pluto is 3.6 billion miles from the sun -- 40 times the distance from Earth to the sun -- and a single year takes 248 Earth years. This makes Pluto a cold place covered with ice, and its surface is between negative 378 to negative 396 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its thin atmosphere includes nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide, and although the skies are blue on Pluto, the snow is red because of its chemical composition.

But in Pluto's equatorial region, also called the Cthulhu region, bright white frosts collect on top of the red features in a striking way.

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Nobody will have birthdays on Pluto, and they will pray for real global warming.

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