Extreme Close-up Images of Pluto

At 5.3 light hours distance from the sun, Pluto is thought of as a comet or errant ice ball. In fact, in 2006, Pluto was re-classified as not a planet at all, but a new category of celestial object called a dwarf planet.

Images are still being processed and studied from the New Horizons probe. Launched in 2006, the probe flew close to the dwarf planet in 2015. At that great distance, the last images from the flyby weren't received until 2016. The probe will continue flying into the cloud of ice and rock that surrounds the solar system like a halo.

The images received show mountains, valleys, eroded pits, cracks, and wavelike dunes across the plains. Conventional geology doesn't make sense on a world that should be frozen solid with neither tectonic forces to drive up mountains or drive apart plates, nor a wind to pile up dust or snow into neat dunes.


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