Washington: Have you ever seen Pluto in colorful detail? If not, NASA has a special treat for you – a stunning psychedelic image of the dwarf planet.
Using a technique called principal component analysis, New Horizons scientists created this false color image of Pluto to highlight the many subtle color differences between Pluto's distinct regions.
— NASA New Horizons (@NASANewHorizons) November 12, 2015
The image data were collected by the spacecraft’s Ralph/MVIC color camera on July 14 at 11:11 am UTC, from a range of 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometers).
The image was presented by Will Grundy of the New Horizons’ surface composition team on Nov. 9 at the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in National Harbor, Maryland.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its historic close flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015, coming within 7,800 miles of the icy planet's surface. Since, then, it has sent back many fascinating images of the dwarf planet and its moons, besides science data.
The spacecraft is now on the way to rocky Kuiper Belt to examine another of the ancient, icy mini-worlds in that vast region, at least a billion miles beyond Neptune’s orbit.