Data from New Horizons spacecraft were examined the Pluto last year showed that in addition to fog, the dwarf planet may also have a cloud. Earlier, New Horizons has found a thin haze in the atmosphere of Pluto, with an altitude of 120 miles and is separated into at least 24 different layers.
|Pluto's face turns colorful, composed of pale blue, yellow, and dark red. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fG6yp)|
"But the fog is not a cloud," said S. Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator. He explained that the fog will spread and do not block the sunlight. If we stand on the surface of Pluto and look up, the mist will only filter about two percent of sunlight. Instead, the clouds will block sunlight so not visible from the surface.
The crystal-clear images taken by the New Horizons during the mission in July 2015 showed that Pluto is almost entirely free of cloud. However, on the careful observation of high-resolution images reveal the existence of seven bright object that resembles a cloud hovering over the surface of Pluto.
|Scientists from NASA’s New Horizons mission have identified some cloud candidates in the atmosphere of Pluto, using images taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager and Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera, during the spacecraft’s July 2015 flight through the Pluto system. None of the features can be confirmed as clouds with stereo imaging, but the scientists say they are suggestive of possible, rare condensation clouds. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fG7FQ)|
Those seven objects that has a size that is almost similar and occur at dawn or dusk. It is estimated, that the best times of cloud formation on Pluto. Yet Stern says it is difficult to tell. "We do not see a pile or hordes of clouds. We only see the individual cloud, "he said.
He continued, "If there is a cloud, it means the weather on Pluto is even more complex than we imagined."
|This artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, is seen in a NASA image from July 2015. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1RvzXhj)|
Not only that, the data New Horizons also showed that the bright areas (such as large areas of the heart-shaped) in Pluto among the most reflective in the solar system.
"Brightness showed surface activity," said Bonnie Buratti, a member of scientists team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
New Horizons has completed delivery of all data collected when researching Pluto to Earth scientists on October 23, 2016. Now the spacecraft is about 5.5 billion kilometers from Earth and 540 million kilometers on the outside Pluto.
New Horizons is moving away from the Sun at a speed of about 14 kilometers/second, to the object of further research: 2014 MU69, a small objects in the Kuiper Belt which is 1.6 billion kilometers from Pluto. It is estimated, New Horizons will reach the 2014 MU69 by 2019 come. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SPACE.COM]
Note: This blog can be accessed via your smart phone.