As NASA’s New Horizon continues to send photographs it took during its flyby of Pluto, a recent photograph is stunning even the experts.
According to GeoBeats News:
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft continues to send images taken during its flyby of Pluto back to Earth, and one of the more recent ones has stunned even the experts.
In the photo, a 780-mile wide expanse of land on Pluto’s crescent is backlit by the sun. The lighting emphasizes the incredible diversity existing in the dwarf planet’s terrain while also revealing quite a bit about its atmosphere.
More than a dozen layers of haze can be seen, and they extend far above the icy surface. The highest is estimated to be about 60 miles above ground.
New Horizons Composition team leader Will Grundy said, “In addition to being visually stunning, these low-lying hazes hint at the weather changing from day to day on Pluto, just like it does here on Earth.”
Also bearing a resemblance to our planet is the area’s apparent glacial cycle. Alan Howard, a member of the Geology, Geophysics and Imaging division, noted that the manner in which it occurs, “…would be directly comparable to the hydrological cycle that feeds ice caps on Earth, where water is evaporated from the oceans, falls as snow, and returns to the seas through glacial flow.”
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