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New Horizons Finds Blue Skies and Water Ice on Pluto

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:49 PM

Pluto’s Blue Sky: 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.

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:55 PM

Two Small Pluto Moons Get Their Close-Ups 
Pluto’s moon Nix is shown in high-resolution black-and-white and lower-resolution color in this image captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its July 2015 flyby.

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