NASA finds more mystery spots, this time on Pluto

NASA has been increasingly gathering more detailed looks at the planets that are close to us. It found itself a little mystery with Ceres, where one of its spacecrafts found a couple clusters of bright spots. The space agency still hasn't quite figured out what those are, but now it has itself another mystery — this time on Pluto, where the New Horizons spacecraft has taken an image that shows a line of big dark dots in an evenly-spaced single line.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back some color images of the dwarf planet Pluto as seen from a distance. The photos show two faces of the planet, one that looks like a sandy marble and another on a different side of the planet that is far more distinctive.

The face shown in the image on the right below shows a series of dark dots lined up in a way that NASA calls "intriguing". They're evenly spaced and located along the planet's equator, measuring in at about 300 miles in diameter each. Says the space agency, "Scientists have yet to see anything quite like the dark spots."

The consistently of their size and their spacing is cited as a big reason for the intrigue, and NASA doesn't yet know what has caused them. New Horizons is continuing with its approach toward the dwarf planet, however, and as it nears it will be easier for researchers to study them.