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News: Stunning Photo of Pluto


This ethereal scene captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft tells yet another story of Pluto’s diversity of geological and compositional features—this time in an enhanced color image of the north polar area. Long canyons run vertically across the polar area—part of the informally named Lowell Regio, named for Percival Lowell, who founded Lowell Observatory and initiated the search that led to Pluto’s discovery. Full Story at Joe.My.God

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


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 … Read more

News: Stunning New Photos from Pluto


A new set of images has been received from the New Horizons spacecraft, showing close-up images of Pluto taken on July 15 (and only just recently processed) while it was passing by the dwarf planet at high speed — but not so fast it couldn’t see terrain so varied it’s astonishing astronomers. “If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that’s what is actually there,” said the mission’s principal investigator, Alan Stern, in a NASA release. With wide plains, mountains and valleys, deltas implying moving liquids, and … Read more

News: NASA’s three-billion-mile journey to Pluto reaches historic encounter

To boldly go indeed! NASA’s three-billion-mile journey to Pluto reaches historic encounter After a decade-long journey through our solar system, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto Tuesday, about 7,750 miles above the surface — roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India — making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. See the full article

First Color Image of Pluto and Its Moon

Pluto and Moon

Someone’s using too many instagram filters… NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is setting up to make an historic fly-by of Pluto on July 14. NASA today released this first-ever color photo from the probe of Pluto with its largest moon Charon. Writes NASA: This image of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was taken by the Ralph color imager aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on April 9 and downlinked to Earth the following day. It is the first color image ever made of the Pluto system by a spacecraft on approach. The image is a preliminary reconstruction, which will be refined … Read more