Surface materials have been found flowing around mountains and even accumulating forming ponds of Nitrogen in Pluto. Scientists have reasons to believe that the activity could certainly be very recent and by recent they mean any where from a few tens of millions of years. Not much has been known since the mission team has received only 4-5% of data during the historic flyby of the dwarf planet on 14th July.
This planet is covered with very cold Nitrogen, Carbon-monoxide and Methane ice which could melt and flow with the slightest of thermal rise. The idea of glacial activities in this barren planet could get public attention. This phenomenon was interpreted to have happened at the edge of what is now known as Sputnik Planum , which is a plain in the western half of Pluto’s bright heart like feature, north of it’s equator.
“Water-ice at Pluto temperatures wont move anywhere ; it’s immobile and brittle, but on Pluto the kind of ice we think makes up the Planum (Nitrogen, Methane, Carbon-monoxide, ices), these ices are geographically soft and malleable even at Pluto’s conditions and they will flow in the same way that glaciers flow on Earth”,said Bill McKinnon co- investigator from Washington University in St. Louis.
The probe still monitors its slow rotations as 1 Pluto day lasts 6.4 earth days. The observation will seize in about a weeks time.
In September, engineers will command New Horizon to start sending back all the information it has gathered during the flyby. Therefore, the Pluto observation wont finish until late 2016.