That’s what NASA scientists are saying after the New Horizons spacecraft took pictures of two separate mountain ranges on the dwarf planet’s surface this past week.
NASA Press Release Comments:
One of the mountain ranges is more prominent and scientists have concluded that these mountains (named the Norgay Mountains after the first Nepalese man to summit Mount Everest in 1953) are the rough equivalent to the western United State’s Rocky Mountains.
“A new close-up image of an equatorial region near the base of Pluto’s bright heart-shaped feature shows a mountain range with peaks jutting as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body.”
On the other hand, the less prominent range is nearly equal the size of the Appalachian Mountains.
“These newly-discovered frozen peaks are estimated to be one-half mile to one mile (1-1.5 kilometers) high, about the same height as the United States’ Appalachian Mountains. The Norgay Montes (Norgay Mountains) discovered by New Horizons on July 15 more closely approximate the height of the taller Rocky Mountains.”
The most surprising information garnered from taller mountains is that they appear to be extremely young when put into the perspective of a solar system timeline.
“The mountains on Pluto likely formed no more than 100 million years ago — mere youngsters in a 4.56-billion-year-old solar system. This suggests the close-up region, which covers about one percent of Pluto’s surface, may still be geologically active today.”