Dunes on Pluto made of tiny frozen grains of methane

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Scientists have discovered dunes on Pluto made of tiny frozen grains of methane.

The pale gray and white ridges were revealed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its 2015 flyby. A British-led team announced the findings Thursday in the journal Science.

Researchers say the dunes appear to be made mostly of icy specks of methane the size of sand. Thought to be relatively recent, the dunes are located in Pluto's heart-shaped region at the base of mountains with methane snowcaps.

Scientists were surprised to find dunes given Pluto's thin, weak atmosphere. They suggest surface nitrogen ice transformed into gas that lifted methane particles. Pluto's gentle winds then carried and deposited the grains.

Dunes already have been found on Mars, Venus, Saturn's moon, Titan, and even a comet.

You may also like these

China to recruit civilian astronauts, boost...

Mar 5, 2018

China plans to begin recruiting civilian astronauts for its military-backed space program and...

China raises tariffs on US pork, fruit in trade...

Apr 2, 2018

China raised import duties on a $3 billion list of U.S. pork, fruit and other products in an...

Chip Wars: Tech rivalry underlies US-China trade...

May 3, 2018

Chip wars: US-China trade tensions underscore intense rivalry over key semiconductor expertise

Tesla will build its 1st factory outside US in...

Jul 11, 2018

Electric car producer Tesla will build its first factory outside the United States in Shanghai,...

US firm: Chinese hackers infiltrate Cambodia...

Jul 12, 2018

A U.S. cybersecurity firm has found evidence Chinese hackers linked to Beijing's government have...

About Us

Science Tech Today is all about the present with what’s new in the Science and Technology world. “Keep up with today, and don’t be left behind.”

Contact us: sales[at]sciencetechtoday.com

Subscribe Now!