According to the first close-up images released from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, icy mountain ranges can be seen rising from Pluto’s surface. The mountains’ elevation reaches 11,000 feet (3,400 meters). A close-up section of Pluto that showed no sign of craters. NASA said the findings suggest that Pluto is geologically active, and contains parts that are youthful in astronomical terms. Scientists also assumed that the bedrock that makes those mountains must be made of H20, of water-ice.
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Why Pluto is no longer considered a Planet?
For an object to be a planet, it needs to meet these three requirements defined by the IAU:
- It needs to be in orbit around the Sun.
- It needs to have enough gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape.
- It needs to have “cleared the neighborhood” of its orbit.
Any object that doesn’t meet this 3rd criteria is considered a dwarf planet. And so, Pluto is a dwarf planet.