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Pluto is covered by exotic-composition ices and its landscape strongly resembles the polar caps on Earth( Greenland and Antarctica), new Horizons even discovered spectacular mountains on Pluto covered by bright deposits, strikingly resembling snow-capped mountain chains seen on Earth.
New Horizons even discovered spectacular mountains on Pluto covered by bright deposits, strikingly resembling snow-capped mountain chains seen on Earth, such a landscape had never been observed elsewhere in the solar system. Could Pluto's atmosphere behave like Earth's ? We discovered that a new and unique( in the solar system) atmospheric process forms these snowy mountains on Pluto.
This discovery teaches us that there are still plenty of physical and dynamical processes out there in space that we do not know about, and that climates can be very different than that of Earth( despite forming a similar landscape), it is important to study Pluto and other planetary bodies because they are natural laboratories to explore and investigate the diversity of possible climates( and geology, and other planetary sciences) which gives us more perspective on our own climate.
Before New Horizons, everyone thought Pluto was going to be a netball -- completely flat, almost no diversity, but it's completely different. It has a lot of different landscapes and we are trying to understand what's going on there.
Sputnik Planitia may be as important for Pluto's climate as the ocean is for Earth's climate, if you remove Sputnik Planitia -- if you remove the heart of Pluto -- you won't have the same circulation.
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