The incredible blue skies and amazing true colors of Pluto as seen in original NASA images
taken by nasa's New Horizons spacecraft. Pluto had many surprises for us, blue skies and water ice
were some of the surprise findings.
Scientists had expected Pluto's sky haze to be either gray or red.
"The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn's moon Titan.
The source of both hazes likely involves sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane,
leading to relatively small, soot-like particles (called tholins) that grow as they settle toward the surface.
This image was generated by software that combines information from blue, red and near-infrared images
to replicate the color a human eye would perceive as closely as possible."
The water ice that was found had a surprising red color which scientists are still trying to understand.
“Large expanses of Pluto don’t show exposed water ice,” said science team member Jason Cook, of SwRI, “because it’s
apparently masked by other, more volatile ices across most of the planet. Understanding why water appears exactly
where it does, and not in other places, is a challenge that we are digging into.”
A curious aspect of the detection is that the areas showing the most obvious water ice spectral signatures correspond
to areas that are bright red in recently released color images. “I’m surprised that this water ice is so red,”
says Silvia Protopapa, a science team member from the University of Maryland, College Park.
“We don’t yet understand the relationship between water ice and the reddish tholin colorants on Pluto's surface.”
It will be interesting to see what other surprises Pluto has in store for us!
Some have already found anomalies in NASA images and there is much speculation of
life whether past or present on the dwarf planet.