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This July 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft. On Friday, July 17, 2015, scientists said they found vast frozen plains spanning a couple hundred miles in the heart-shaped area of Pluto, next door to its big, rugged mountains of water ice. (NASA via AP)

Remember the 'heart' on Pluto? Scientists found out how it was made and how it 'beats'



Remember that big heart that scientists at NASA saw splashed across Pluto? 

A year ago, scientists only knew that the heart shape consisted of huge glaciers, which are primarily made of nitrogen ice. 

Where those glaciers came from remained a mystery until now. 

A new paper in Nature  notes that researchers previously thought the size of Pluto's glaciers meant that there was a reservoir of nitrogen ice below the dwarf planet's surface, according to Gizmodo

The new model, however, doesn't show a deep ice reservoir. 

Instead, the paper in  Nature  revealed that Pluto's icy environment is shaped by deep basins on its surface. 

Those basins have incredibly cold temperatures and seasonal frosts. 

Their model of Pluto looks at the dwarf planet's history but also predicts what may happen to Pluto's ice.

Researchers told Gizmodo the seasonal frosts will slowly disappear, but that doesn't mean Pluto's heart will melt away. 

"The half heart glacier lying inside is a really massive glacier, which is not impacted by the seasonal changes. It probably formed when the basin formed, and will remain there in the future," Tanguy Bertrand, the co-author of the paper told Gizmodo.

"However, it probably flows and retracts over a few hundreds of kilometers (like a heart beating) with time, eroding and shaping the mountains surrounding it."

Researchers plan to monitor Pluto to see if the model prediction actually comes true. 

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