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

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Pluto has snow-capped mountains covered in methane frost, and although they look similar to snowy mountain chains on Earth, these mountains gather snow in a way entirely unlike anywhere else in the solar system.

(CNN)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.

"Pluto is covered by exotic-composition ices and its landscape strongly resembles the polar caps on Earth (Greenland and Antarctica)," said Tanguy Bertrand, lead study author and a post-doctoral researcher at NASA Ames Research Center in California, in an email to CNN.

"New Horizons even discovered spectacular mountains on Pluto covered by bright deposits, strikingly resembling snow-capped mountain chains seen on Earth," he said.

We discovered that a new and unique (in the solar system) atmospheric process forms these snowy mountains on Pluto. "

Pluto is covered in methane deposits, but those observed in the Cthulhu region look a lot like snow gathered on crater rims, walls and mountain tops.

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