The Jagged Shores of Pluto's Highlands

Explanation: This enhanced color view from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft zooms in on the southeastern portion of Pluto's great ice plains, where at lower right the plains border rugged, dark highlands informally named Krun Macula. At the boundary with Sputnik Planum, these pits form deep valleys reaching more than 25 miles (40 kilometers) long, 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) wide and almost 2 miles (3 kilometers) deep (almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in Arizona), and have floors covered with nitrogen ice. New Horizons scientists think these pits may have formed through surface collapse, although what may have prompted such a collapse is a mystery.


Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute