Blue Sky And Water On Pluto!

Pluto's Blue Sky
Pluto’s Blue Sky: Pluto’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). 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. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

 

We Have Water (And Blue Skies) On Pluto Too? …

Pluto continues to surprise us. First we find a surface that’s amazing, then we find what we think are hydro-thermal vents.

On top of that, New Horizons shows evidence of Nitrogen glaciers of all things (Nitrogen is usually a gas).

More photos come in that simply amaze all who see them, and then it goes quite for a while.  At least until now.

So now we think there is actually water on Pluto and on top of that, there is a blue haze layer around the (I’ll continue to use the word) ‘planet’ that , albeit thin is there.

Check out NASA’s article about what that blue sky really is below …

Oct. 8, 2015

New Horizons Finds Blue Skies and Water Ice on Pluto

Pluto's Blue Sky

Pluto’s Blue Sky: Pluto’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). 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.
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

 

The first color images of Pluto’s atmospheric hazes, returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft last week, reveal that the hazes are blue.

The haze particles themselves are likely gray or red, but the way they scatter blue light has gotten the attention of the New Horizons science team. “That striking blue tint tells us about the size and composition of the haze particles,” said science team researcher Carly Howett, also of SwRI. “A blue sky often results from scattering of sunlight by very small particles. On Earth, those particles are very tiny nitrogen molecules. On Pluto they appear to be larger — but still relatively small — soot-like particles we call tholins.”

Scientists believe the tholin particles form high in the atmosphere, where ultraviolet sunlight breaks apart and ionizes nitrogen and methane molecules and allows them to react with one another to form more and more complex negatively and positively charged ions. When they recombine, they form very complex macromolecules, a process first found to occur in the upper atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. The more complex molecules continue to combine and grow until they become small particles; volatile gases condense and coat their surfaces with ice frost before they have time to fall through the atmosphere to the surface, where they add to Pluto’s red coloring.

In a second significant finding, New Horizons has detected numerous small, exposed regions of water ice on Pluto. The discovery was made from data collected by the Ralph spectral composition mapper on New Horizons.

Zoom in area on Pluto
Water Ice on Pluto: Regions with exposed water ice are highlighted in blue in this composite image from New Horizons’ Ralph instrument, combining visible imagery from the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) with infrared spectroscopy from the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA). The strongest signatures of water ice occur along Virgil Fossa, just west of Elliot crater on the left side of the inset image, and also in Viking Terra near the top of the frame. A major outcrop also occurs in Baré Montes towards the right of the image, along with numerous much smaller outcrops, mostly associated with impact craters and valleys between mountains. The scene is approximately 280 miles (450 kilometers) across. Note that all surface feature names are informal.
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

 

To read the full article, see NASA.gov

1 Comment on "Blue Sky And Water On Pluto!"

  1. I forgot exactly where the site is at, but I’ll first try space.com where it states that not only does Pluto have an atmosphere but it expands and contracts. A collapsible atmosphere demonstrates a gravitational force that has enough force to dominate/clear its orbital path, plus it has 1+ moons. It satisfies all of the IAU’s definitions of a planet. That plus the fact that the IAU sat over Pluto’s demotion without a quorum (National Geographic) Pluto retains its status as a “PLANET”.

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