V-Day In Space: Pluto’s ‘Frozen Heart’ Beats Wind
RECENT STUDY SHOWS WHEN PLUTO'S "FROZEN HEART" BEATS, IT CREATES NITROGEN WIND
(CNN) – A recent study reveals that Pluto’s “frozen heart” planetary feature “beats” and creates nitrogen wind.
The heart-shaped feature is officially called Tombaugh Regio and was discovered during a flyby in 2015.
It’s the white heart on the middle-lower right side of this image.
During the daytime, Pluto’s frozen nitrogen heart warms enough to become vapor.
At night, it condenses and turns to ice again.
The researchers refer to this fluctuation as Pluto’s “heartbeat.”
They say it controls atmospheric circulation of nitrogen winds around the planet.
That wind may be responsible for sculpting the intriguing landscape on Pluto’s surface.
The study was published last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.