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News: Pluto Has a Blue Sky and Water Ice, NASA Announces

Pluto

Pluto has a blue sky, NASA announced today, offering up more information revealed by the New Horizons probe’s visit to the planet last month:

Pluto’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn’s moon Titan. The source of both hazes likely involves sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane, leading to relatively small, soot-like particles (called tholins) that grow as they settle toward the surface. This image was generated by software that combines information from blue, red and near-infrared images to replicate the color a human eye would perceive as closely as possible.

The New Horizons spacecraft is currently 3.1 billion miles (5 billion kilometers) from Earth and is still operating normally, the agency said.

Full Story at Towleroad.com

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