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New Horizons releases images of Pluto's surface, moon

New Horizons releases images of Pluto's surface, moon

The first close-ups of Pluto reveal 11,000-foot ice mountains, a relatively thin crust of methane and nitrogen ice, and a surprising absence of craters, evidence the planet has more geological activity than scientists expected. "This is a very young surface," said John Spencer, a co-investigator on NASA's $700 million New Horizons mission, which gave Pluto and its moon Charon a long, hard look as the spacecraft sped by on Tuesday. The findings released Wednesday are the first taste of observations made as the spacecraft passed within 7,700 miles of Pluto. Because it was busy taking a flurry of pictures and other measurements during the encounter, the spacecraft was unable to...

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