NASA names Pluto's mountains after Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary has been given a special nod by NASA who have named the newly discovered mountain ranges on Pluto after the famous New Zealand climber.

NASA has released a simulated flyover of the 'Hillary Montes' region on Pluto which it says is informally named for Sir Edmund Hillary.

NASA's New Horizons' flyby of Pluto last week revealed the former planet has mountain ranges rising to 1.6 kilometres above the surrounding plains.

The exciting discovery was "informally" named the Hillary Montes - or the Hillary Mountains - for Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who summited Mount Everest in 1953.

"For many years, we referred to Pluto as the Everest of planetary exploration," says New Horizans Principal Investigator Alan Stern.

"It's fitting that the two climbers who first summited Earth's highest mountain, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgary, now have their names on this new Everest."