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A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. and one in France has found evidence of ammonia on the surface of Pluto. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their finding and what it might have revealed about the dwarf planet.
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched by NASA in 2006—its primary mission was to fly by Pluto to learn more about the distant dwarf planet. Its secondary mission was to study Kuiper belt objects. After launch, the probe flew close to Jupiter and then went into hibernation mode until it arrived at Pluto in 2015. The probe remained in the vicinity of Pluto until the end of 2016. In this new effort, the researchers have been studying data sent back from the probe during its Pluto flyby.
Researchers - Part - Pluto - Surface - Virgil
The researchers focused on a part of Pluto's surface known as Virgil Fossa—an area around a large crack in the surface. Prior research has suggested the crack was the result of volcanic activity. The researchers chose to focus on the site because its...
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