Orbiting the sun over 40 times farther away than the Earth, it’s no wonder that Pluto is so incredibly cold.

But when New Horizon made its historic flyby of the dwarf planet, NASA scientists were dumbfounded to find Pluto was even colder than expected — about 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) colder.

A new hypothesis suggests that a haze of solid hydrocarbons might be regulating Pluto’s temperature. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it would signify a new regime of planetary climate; something that’s never been witnessed before.

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