Earthlings have definitely come a long way in figuring out our neighbors in the solar system. For example, Pluto may actually have a frozen lake made of liquid nitrogen.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released on March 25 an interesting high-resolution image of the Pluto's surface taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) of New Horizons spacecraft, an interplanetary probe under NASA's New Frontier Program designed to obtain as much information as it can about Pluto, the dwarf planet 4.6 billion miles away from Earth.

The picture captured during the probe's flyby on July 14, 2015, showed what looked like a 130-meter (0.08 miles) small water form measuring 20 miles across found in the northern section of Sputnik Planum, the heart-shaped plain, and within a mountain range.

If the frozen lake is not interesting enough, there are also "channels that may also have carried liquids in Pluto's past," said Alan Stern, main investigator of New Horizons. And when we say past, we are talking about millions to billions of years ago.

Although there have already been discussions about whether the icy planet has water like an ocean underneath its surface, this new discovery still remains surprising. This could mean that the temperature of the planet may have been warmer eons ago to allow water to flow. It is also possible that this have occurred due to the extreme tilt of the planet when it revolves around the sun every 248 years.

The planet's "long-term polar axis shifts drive sharp changes in the planet's atmospheric pressure over time, possibly causing Pluto's atmosphere to be much more massive than that of even Mars," reported Stern during the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on March 21. This might have caused liquid nitrogen to flow on the planet's surface.

Aside from the frozen pond, the New Horizons team and NASA has also discovered previously a diverse terrain, floating icebergs in frozen nitrogen, methane ice in the mountains, and even a bite mark and a heart.

Other information related to the Pluto's surface is part of the team's five papers submitted to the journal Science. In the meantime, as New Horizons continues to move, we may get more information about the super-distant planet and even the rest of the Kuiper belt.

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