Does Pluto have an atmosphere?

When Pluto is closer to the Sun in its orbit, the warmth from the Sun heats up the frozen ices of nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide on Pluto's surface. These ices vaporize and form a temporary atmosphere. When Pluto moves farther from the Sun, the atmosphere freezes and falls back onto Pluto's surface.


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Learn about IRAS, the first infrared telescope launched into Earth's orbit!