HEADLINES Published January19, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

Ice Volcano Discovered in NASA's New Images of Pluto

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Pluto
(Photo : Getty Images - NASA)

NASA's "New Horizon" Spacecraft came into close encounter with what used to be the farthest planet in the solar system, Pluto, last July 2015. The occasion marked the first time a man-made object has observed Pluto up close and to say that it was a momentous event for scientists and civilians alike is an understatement. It seems like the encounter however is a gift that keeps on giving since it has been six months following the fly by and still new information about the dwarf planet are revealed.

Yesterday NASA unveiled new images of one of two speculated ice volcanoes otherwise known as located in the surface of Pluto just below the infamous heart formation.  The land formation has been dubbed  "Wright Mons"  as a tribute to pioneers of flight, the Wright brothers. The cryovolcano measures at 90 miles across and stands at a whopping 2.5 miles. According to the agency, if the Wright Mons is indeed a volcano, it would be the largest volcano in the entire solar system.

Details about the "volcano" has yet to be confirmed. However, considering Pluto is more than thirty times farther from the sun than the earth, these land formations is speculated to spew frozen water, nitrogen, ammonia or methane instead of lava.

New Horizon scientists have earlier chimed in on the possibility of volcanoes on Pluto. According to them, there is no denying the peculiarity of these land forms. However the theory that they might be volcanoes are thus far not the weirdest explanations for them.

"Nothing like this has ever been seen in the outer solar system. Whatever they are, they're definitely weird," quipped Oliver White, scientist from NASA's Ames Research Center in California.

Currently, the "New Horizons" spacecraft is on its way through the Kuiper Belt. It has yet to be announced if a Kuiper Belt flyby would be part of the spacecraft's extended mission.  

View the images here

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