Friday, July 3, 2015

Postcards from Pluto

The latest images from the New Horizons spacecraft, which is headed for a rendezvous with Pluto on July 14th, show a series of four dark spots on the lower edge of the visible disc. The pictures were taken on June 25th and 27th when the vehicle was approximately 22 million kilometers from Pluto. Some are speculating that these spots may be evidence of clouds in the atmosphere and the shadows those clouds create on the dwarf planet's surface. Analysts will continue to watch for other developments as New Horizons continues to approach Pluto and its moon Charon. The atmosphere of Pluto is certainly one of the significant aspects of study for this probe and New Horizons raced to get to the planet before the atmosphere could freeze over on its long journey away from the sun (see my previous blog here).

Click on this image to see a larger picture.

NASA's website will have more images and live commentary as the probe gets closer to her July 14th flyby. Check back with them regularly for more information.

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