NASA shares stunning image of Pluto showing its true colors

NASA explained Pluto’s surface as cracked and cratered, colored white, tan and brown-red

NASA shared a stunning image on Instagram on Saturday, taken by its New Horizons spacecraft, showing Pluto’s true colors. The photo, taken 35,445 km from Pluto, also shows its “heart” – a giant glacier made of nitrogen and methane. Pluto’s surface is covered in ice made of water, methane and nitrogen and is believed to have a rocky core and possibly a deep ocean.

NASA explained Pluto’s surface as cracked and cratered, colored white, tan and brown-red. As the white and brown color at the top of the photo descends to meet the brown-red surface, the partially visible “heart” can be seen in white.

The space agency shared the image of Pluto, captioning it as: “Small planetary body Saturday? Taken by our New Horizons spacecraft at a distance of 22,025 miles (35,445 km), this image shows Pluto’s true colors, including the “heart.” of the dwarf planet – a glacier the size of Texas and Oklahoma made of nitrogen and methane.”

See the image here:

Orbiting at a distance of 5.9 billion km, New Horizons is the first spacecraft to visit Pluto and is expected to explore the Kuiper Belt – an area said to be full of tiny objects left over of the creation of our planet. solar system, NASA said.

Pluto was once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, but was downgraded and reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded Pluto’s status to that of a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet. A “dwarf planet”, as defined by the IAU, is a celestial body in direct orbit around the Sun that is so massive that its shape is determined by gravity rather than mechanical forces, but that has not cleared the adjacent region of other objects .

Pluto is just over 1,400 miles across, about half the width of the United States or 2/3 the width of the Moon. With an average temperature of -232°C, Pluto’s surface is covered in ice made of water, methane and nitrogen and is believed to have a rocky core and possibly a deep ocean.

Another prominent feature on Pluto’s surface is a large heart-shaped region unofficially known as Tombaugh Regio, according to Space.Com. The left side of the region (an area that takes the shape of an ice cream cone) is covered with carbon monoxide ice. Other variations in the composition of surface materials have been identified within Pluto’s “heart”.

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