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NASA spies “halo” craters on Pluto surface

by Brandon Russell | April 22, 2016April 22, 2016 1:45 pm PST

Pluto’s diverse and increasingly mysterious geology continues to astound, as new photos returned to Earth reveal a series of “halo” craters within the planet’s Vega Terra region. These craters were found far west of the hemisphere NASA’s New Horizons peered during its close approach last summer.

The layout of pictures you see above pretty much spells it out. The black and white image best displays these “haloed” craters, the largest of which is estimated to be around 30 miles across. What mysteries lie at the bottom of these craters? Scientists aren’t quite sure, nor do they know when these craters got there.

“Composition data from New Horizon’s Ralph/Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) indicate a connection between the bright halos and distribution of methane ice, shown in false color as purple,” NASA explained. “The floors and terrain between craters show signs of water ice, colored in blue.”

Below are some of the other reports from NASA following last summer’s unprecedented flyby.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.