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Space & Astronomy

Blue skies and water ice found on Pluto

By T.K. Randall
October 8, 2015 · Comment icon 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? Itís 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 donít show exposed water ice because itís 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.Ē

Source: NASA.gov | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Oops Monkey 7 years ago
Awesome. Our universe, the cosmos, is so beautiful!
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum 7 years ago
well oxygen can exist everywhere else top.
Comment icon #3 Posted by fred_mc 7 years ago
well oxygen can exist everywhere else top. In tiny amounts it can but the only known thing that can produce big amounts of oxygen is life I think. Anyway, as it says in the article, the blue colour is not related to oxygen, not even on earth. Here, it is nitrogen, which makes up 78% of earth's atmosphere, which causes the blue colour.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bee 7 years ago
. I'm stunned.....and amazed In tiny amounts it can but the only known thing that can produce big amounts of oxygen is life I think. what exactly do you mean..?... fred_mc Anyway, as it says in the article, the blue colour is not related to oxygen, not even on earth. Here, it is nitrogen, which makes up 78% of earth's atmosphere, which causes the blue colour. well this is what they say...article in OP The haze particles themselves are likely gray or red, but the way they scatter blue light has gotten the attention of the New Horizons science team. ďThat striking blue tint tells us about the si... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Astra- 7 years ago
Awesome. Our universe, the cosmos, is so beautiful! It certainly is - and I totally appreciate anything that is new - discovered - and learned from NASA in regards to the marvelous and awesome job that they do by sharing their scientific findings with these beautiful and wonderful planets in our cosmos neighborhood.It's WOW factor.....to know these hazes are blue around Pluto ? that's pretty damn cool. Cheers and thankyou NASA for the work that you do
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
In the words of Mr. Spock, "Fascinating!" Pluto keeps surprising us.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Astra- 7 years ago
In the words of Mr. Spock, "Fascinating!" Pluto keeps surprising us. Not to familiiar with Mr Spock (never got into it) but yes Pluto and other planets have many surprises ahead of us - I'm sure.


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