Space & Astronomy
Blue skies and water ice found on Pluto
By T.K. Randall
October 8, 2015 · 7 comments
Image showing Pluto's incredible blue atmospheric haze. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
Pluto's impressive blue haze has been revealed for the first time in new images from New Horizons.
As the photographs from the probe's historic flyby continue to be sent back to Earth scientists at NASA have been working to unravel the mysteries of Pluto's unique and varied landscape.
Their latest findings, which were revealed today, indicate that this distant, icy world possesses an atmospheric haze that is a brilliant blue color similar to what we see here on Earth.
"Who would have expected a blue sky in the Kuiper Belt? It's gorgeous," said NASA's Alan Stern.
In addition to the blue haze scientists have also discovered what are believed to be regions of exposed water ice on Pluto's surface.
"Large expanses of Pluto don't show exposed water ice because it's apparently masked by other, more volatile ices across most of the planet," said science team member Jason Cook.
"Understanding why water appears exactly where it does, and not in other places, is a challenge that we are digging into.”
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