NASA recently delighted space enthusiasts by sharing a captivating image of Pluto’s glacier, which happens to be heart-shaped. The photograph was captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, reminding us that despite its reclassification as a dwarf planet, Pluto continues to hold a special place in our hearts.
NASA took to Instagram to showcase the image, accompanied by a description of the diverse features found on Pluto’s surface, including mountains, cliffs, valleys, craters, and plains composed of methane and nitrogen ice. Situated in the Kuiper belt, a region of icy remnants from the early days of our solar system, Pluto resides beyond Neptune’s orbit.
Although it sits an average of 3.7 billion miles (5.9 billion kilometers) away from the Sun, its elliptical orbit occasionally brings it closer to the Sun than Neptune, causing its thin atmosphere to expand. The photograph garnered immense attention, receiving over 1.1 million likes. In the comment section, numerous individuals playfully urged NASA and the astronomical community to restore Pluto’s status as the ninth planet.