Nasa’s dramatic ‘farewell to Pluto’ image is a sight to behold


It’s been a couple of years since Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto, giving us some incredible photos in the process. But even now Nasa continues to wow with images of the dwarf planet – it’s latest is truly spectacular.

Taken 120,000 miles away from Pluto and constructed from a mosaic of six black and white images, with colour added from separate photos taken roughly three hours after New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto, the picture is dominated by the blue haze in Pluto’s atmosphere.

Scientists believe the haze is a photochemical smog – a reaction of methane and other molecules in Pluto’s atmosphere to sunlight. It’s the same reason why Earth’s haze can also appear blue.

Elsewhere in the image mountains can be seen silhouetted against the haze in the top left, Nasa says.
New Horizons is still out in space, heading towards a Kuiper Belt object four billion miles from Earth.
Let’s hope there are plenty more stunning images to come from that flyby.

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