Sunday 4 December 2016

Breathtaking - NASA releases enhanced colour images of Pluto's surface

Sarah Jane Murphy

Published 24/07/2015 | 18:58

Differences in Pluto's surface can been seen for the first time
Differences in Pluto's surface can been seen for the first time

Incredibly, scientists have used enhanced colour images to illustrate differences in the composition and texture of Pluto’s surface.

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Close-up images were combined with color data, and the result is a beautiful and unique portrait of the famous dwarf planet.

Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from a 'Ralph instrument' to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto

These images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 kilometres) away, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometres).

Read More: New detailed Pluto photographs reveal ‘young’ mountain range

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has left its scientists awed by the array of landforms and compositions found on Pluto.

Even with a powerful telescope, Pluto is simply too small and far away to get a good, clear look at it from Earth.

Read More: Nasa completes tour of solar system with a fly-by of Pluto

That’s why, in 2006, NASA launched New Horizons on its nine-year, 4.6-billion-kilometre journey to Pluto.

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