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Pluto is adorned with snow-covered mountains viewed by the New Horizons spacecraft which flew past the frozen world in 2015. This methane snow covers highlands at the equator of the distant former planet.

Cthulhu Regio, one of the most easily recognized of all the features on Pluto, runs halfway around the equator of the icy dwarf planet. At the eastern terminus of Cthulhu lies Sputnik Planum, a frozen plain. A mountain range stretches 260 miles across the southeastern region of the darkly hued feature, accompanied by craters and valleys.

Astronomers believe the dark color of Cthulhu is the result of methane being exposed to sunlight, forming a type of chemical known as tholins. This dark coating sharply contrasts with the frozen peaks seen in the newly released image from the far-flung spacecraft.

"That this material coats only the upper slopes of the peaks suggests methane ice may act like water in Earth's atmosphere, condensing as frost at high altitude," said John Stansberry, a member of the New Horizons science team at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

New Horizons mapped the presence of frozen methane on the surface of Pluto and found that the ice is located almost precisely where the spacecraft imaged snow-covered mountain peaks.

Cthulhu Regio is one of the darkest features on the surface of Pluto, shaped roughly like a whale. This extraterrestrial landmark sits to the west of Tombaugh Regio, the "heart" of Pluto. Nicknamed "The Whale," it was the first feature identified by astronomers viewing images from New Horizons. It received its informal name after online voters chose the demon from the mind of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft to be its namesake.

Read More: Techtimes

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