Methane ice dunes found on Pluto

2 June, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Methane ice dunes 
found on Pluto

Scientists say they have found evidence of dunes of frozen methane on Pluto, reports BBC. 

The research, which is published in the journal Science, suggests that the distant world is more dynamic than previously thought. Pluto’s atmosphere was believed to be too thin to create the features familiar in deserts on Earth.

The findings come from analysis of the startling images sent back by Nasa’s New Horizons mission, which flew close to Pluto in July 2015.

After an epic trek through the Solar System that took nearly a decade, New Horizons sped by at a speed of 58,536 km/h (36,373 mph), gathering data as it passed.

In their study, the researchers explain how they studied pictures of a plain known as Sputnik Planitia, parts of which are covered with what look like fields of dunes.

They are lying close to a range of mountains of water ice 5km high.