NASA released a stunningly colorful new image of the dwarf planet Pluto, the latest in a series of images that steadily trickle down from the New Horizons probe since it left the solar system this July. And it’s not only eye candy either; the features this picture reveals has left the smart guys at the agency scratching their heads.
Racing at a pace of about 1 millions per day, the New Horizon craft is getting closer to Pluto and so are the pictures itțs beaming back. Previously, we’ve shown you the first colored pics of Pluto taken by New Horizon, and its moons. Some of you were disappointed when you got to see only a couple of pale pixels, so this latest shot taken just this morning might be more exciting to watch.
Nine years and 3 billion miles later, New Horizon finally got close enough to Pluto to spot it along with all its faint moons. The probe photographed Pluto’s five “underworld” satellites, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, Long Range Reconnaissance Imager with 10 seconds exposure. Light is a bit faint once you’re so far away from the sun that there aren’t any planets left to explore. Not if you count Pluto as one, though, since New Horizon will flyby past it in July. Some still stick to calling Pluto a planet, though officially it’s been demoted to dwarf planet status.
These two dim dots are none other than Pluto, the dwarf plant, and Charon, its largest moon. Though it might not look like much, this is the first ever colored photograph of the two cosmic bodies ever taken. We have NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft to thank for this, which used its Ralph color imager to make the shot from 71 million miles away.
Nine years and three billion miles later, NASA’s New Horizon probe awoke once it neared a strip close to Pluto. The probe was kept in hibernation for more than two thirds of its trek and will is soon expected to finally explore the dwarf planet and, most importantly, the world that surrounds it – the Kuiper belt. It’s the farthest any spacecraft