New NASA Photo of Pluto Shows Striking Features at Its North Pole

New NASA Photo of Pluto Shows Striking Features at Its North Pole
Source: NASA
Source: NASA

When NASA's New Horizons probe flew past Pluto in July, scientists weren't expecting much. At such a great distance from the sun, Pluto was probably just a small, icy chunk of rock. 

Instead, what they found is one of the most complex and puzzling worlds we've ever explored. 

For one, scientists are completely baffled by Pluto's geology, and the planet's north pole is no exception. NASA released this stunning, new color-enhanced photo of the area that reveals some striking features.

Small canyons (green in the image below) speckle Pluto's north pole. The largest canyon (yellow) is 45 miles wide with a valley (blue) winding through it. Another valley (pink) sits off to the east. The area also has a few pits (red), some of which are over 2 miles deep.

New Horizons is now well over 3 billion miles from Earth, and it's continuing to beam back more data on Pluto. The space probe is now on its way to study a lump of rock on the edge of the Kuiper Belt — a system of icy objects orbiting out in the farthest reaches of our solar system.