News Headlines     |     


Snow found on Pluto
Wednesday July 15, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

Pictures taken by the NASA spacecraft, New Horizons, appear to show the dwarf planet has snow on it. It is 3 billion miles away so it is unlikely we will be skiing on it anytime soon.

It has taken the spacecraft 9 and a half-years to make the journey and has been travelling at 31,000 mph to reach its destination.

The images being beamed back have delighted scientists and the general public alike.

Pluto has varied terrain with what looks like large snowfields and mountains.

At a news conference the mission's principal investigator, Alan Stern, said there looked like snow on the icy planet.

"It sure looks that way," he said.

Team member, Fran Bagenal, joked that it wouldn't be a good place for skiing because the snow would be too hard-packed.

Images show mountains at the edge of the heart-like region that are up to 11,000ft high.

The Rockies on Pluto The Rockies on Pluto













The scientists compared them to the Rocky Mountains in North America.

Pluto and its mountainsPluto and its mountains













The craft passed by Pluto in just three minutes and avoided the ice debris in space around it.

Further data will be beamed back in the coming days and weeks.

"Today, we have now visited every single planet in our solar system," said NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, on Wednesday.

It is now continuing its way through the realm of small ice-worlds in the outer solar system.

It will ultimately end up in interstellar space.

For further information then see this story on the BBC.

Pluto flybyPluto flyby











Here at PlanetSKI we are rather excited at the prospect of what our solar system is potentially offering us "snow wise". 

We are not going as far as to produce t-shirts on the subject, but one US company is Wink

Get the t-shirtGet the t-shirt




















In 2012 NASA described "dry ice snowfall" on Mars as we reported here. 

We have also reported on PlanetSKI in the past of the skiing potential of the planet Kepler 22b see here, and also on one of Saturn's moons - see here.

Some of our readers and Tour Operators have made comments on Twitter and Facebook:

  Skiing on Pluto! Now that would make for a great ski movie!

  If anyone puts a chalet on there we will give you ChaletManager for free!

  We're not entirely sure this will be in our 2015/16 brochure, maybe next year...

  But with low gravity floating in the powder will be easier

Carol Chambers-Workman With gravity about a twelfth that on Earth the black runs would be very easy.

Some noticed another Pluto embedded on the Dwarf Planet.

Pluto and plutoPluto and pluto











Others have stayed with the film links and spotted a certain similarity to a fictional space station.

Death starDeath star




















For the spirit of the mountains

Related Articles

SKI CHALET SCAMS ARE BACK (Tuesday October 15, 2019)
OCTOBER NEWS IN BRIEF (Tuesday October 15, 2019)
SKI SURVEY: THE RESULTS (Friday October 11, 2019)
PLANE CRASHES INTO CHAIRLIFT (Friday October 11, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners