Pluto Has Water, Too (of Course, It’s Frozen)

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Pluto, often derided as nothing more than a dwarf planet, finally has something to be proud of: Early this morning, NASA revealed that the New Horizons spacecraft, which took a close look at the little guy this past summer, showed that it is, as suspected, home to water ice!

The pictures from New Horizons showed enormous mountains of ice about as tall as the Rockies, which could only be made of the solid form of our drinkable water. Scientists have long known that there is ice composed of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide, but “you can’t make mountains out of that stuff. It’s too soft,” John Spencer, a NASA planetary scientist, told CNN.

Also released today were pictures showing Pluto’s newly discovered atmosphere. Pluto may have blue skies visible from the surface of the planet because of ionized nitrogen particles, which is similar to the process that gives Earth’s sky its color.