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Artists Concept Of The Atmosphere
Digital Art - Illustration
Despite its small size and extreme distance from the Sun, Pluto does have an atmosphere. The atmosphere arises because there are periods when Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune. During this plutonian summer, the ices on Pluto's surface sublimate and form a methane and nitrogen atmosphere. This atmosphere is continually produced and lost again while Pluto is inside Neptune's orbit; during this time the density of Pluto's atmosphere may rival that of Mars.
December 7th, 2011
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