Scientists are still not quite sure what causes the mysterious pattern on the planets surface, but the most popular running theory at the moment is due to impact of plate tectonics or frozen gases.
The stunning high res imagery show off an impressive color palette, which is unexpected also. Showing the planets surface in unprecedented detail, features such as dunes, a shrinking glacial lake and fractured water ice mountains, scientists are in awe of the rich amount of features the planet has to offer.
The impressive high resolution imagery has also offered a sharp view of the surface, which resembles a snake like skin, mostly evident in the image where the transition from day to night (pictured below).
‘It’s a unique and perplexing landscape stretching over hundreds of miles,’ said William McKinnon, New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team deputy lead from Washington University in St. Louis. ‘It looks more like tree bark or dragon scales than geology. This’ll really take time to figure out; maybe it’s some combination of internal tectonic forces and ice sublimation driven by Pluto’s faint sunlight.’
Check out the imagery below, including an amazing shot of the planet showing off its rich colors.