NASA scientists said that they believe they have solved the mystery surrounding the origin of strange formations on Pluto that resemble giant blades of ice.
The structures in the area are made almost entirely of methane ice.
Scientists said in a release from late last year that they believe the structures “likely formed as a specific kind of erosion wore away their surfaces, leaving dramatic crests and sharp divides,” according to NASA.
“When we realized that bladed terrain consists of tall deposits of methane ice, we asked ourselves why it forms all of these ridges, as opposed to just being big blobs of ice on the ground,” said New Horizons team member Jeffrey Moore, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
“It turns out that Pluto undergoes climate variation and sometimes, when Pluto is a little warmer, the methane ice begins to basically ‘evaporate’ away,” said Moore.
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