The Cosmos

NASA Scientists Have Discovered Ice Covered Mountains On Pluto

Surely this awesome news for skiers enough to make Pluto a proper planet again?

Photo: NASA

Not so long ago, we told you about the NASA spacecraft that was just about to beam back never seen before footage of Pluto – the former planet, now officially a Dwarf Planet furthest from the sun.

Since then the spaceship, called New Horizons, has reached the outer orbit of Pluto, and yesterday successfully managed to send back photos of the surface of the planet that showed amazing detail.

What really shocked scientists was a previously unknown range of mountains on the southern hemisphere of Pluto. The range – which nobody apart from us are already calling The Mporas – stand at about 3,500 metres above the surface of the planet.

Mont Blanc, Earth – Photo: iStock

As such, the icy peaks are a little under the elevation of Mont Blanc, which stands at 4,807 metres, and of course of dwarfed by Mt Everest at a hefty 8,848 metres. However, scientists also think that The Mporas (go on, stick with it) could still continue to grow, as they formed just 100 million year ago.

While that sounds like a long time, it’s nothing on a Universal scale, with most boffins agreeing that our solar system is 4.56billion years old.

All of this leads to, of course, the most important question – if there is ice on these mountains, are they skiable? Well, the answer is a mixed up ‘yes and no’.

Could skis soon chatter on Pluto? – Photo: iStock

Superficially the conditions sounds relatively flat, and pretty icy – so largely identical to the ski scene on the East coast of the USA. On the down side of course, there’s the lack of oxygen, little-to-no lift system to speak of, and it’ll take something in the region of ten years to get there.

As such, the queues may be lower, and the lift passes free, but you’re still better off picking the Alps over Pluto’s Mporas… for now at least.

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