Pluto's icy heart makes winds blow


Four images from NASA’s New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this global view of Pluto. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

A “beating heart” of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto’s winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according to a new study.

Pluto’s famous heart-shaped structure, named Tombaugh Regio, quickly became famous after NASA’s New Horizons mission captured footage of the dwarf planet in 2015 and revealed it isn’t the barren world scientists thought it was.
Now, new research shows Pluto’s renowned nitrogen heart rules its atmospheric circulation. Uncovering how Pluto’s atmosphere behaves provides scientists with another place to compare to our own planet. Such findings can pinpoint both similar and…



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