These thrilling new Images of clouds hovering on Pluto are really splendid!
A recent discovery by the scientists of NASA has proved to be really significant in the realm of scientific discoveries. Jacob Aron of New Scientist has acquired some images where it appears that Pluto, which is known to be one of the coldest bodies in the solar system, comprises of clouds. This duly signifies that there must be a good amount of atmospheric activity that is taking place on the planet.
1 Pluto with clouds- is it really true?
Though the pictures taken from New Horizons (the spacecraft which was launched to do the flyby probe of the Pluto system) are yet to be confirmed for details, the scientists claim that they have seen atmosphere around Pluto to be hazy and cloudy, which means that there might be clouds hovering around the planet. Now it remains to be confirmed that what appears to be clouds on Pluto are really clouds or something else. This is a new mission that all scientists have claimed to work on, as it may be a significant discovery for all.
2 What may be the cause of formation of clouds?
Though scientists are still not sure on what the cause behind the formation of clouds is or whether they are real clouds, a few scientists claim that further investigations would reveal whether their discovery is really true or not. The scientists are as of now not sure about the components of the clouds. Though they are believed to be made up of the mixture of general atmosphere; comprising of nitrogen, acetylene, traces of methane, ethylene and ethane.
3 What was it that scientists discovered initially?
The New Horizons team of NASA recently discovered that there seems to be a snow blanket on Pluto’s Cthulhu Region that is composed of methane. Cthulhu Region is known to be one of the most discernible features of the planet. It is known to spread halfway through the equator and originates from the vast nitrogen ice plains, which are called the Sputnik Planum. It is 1,850 miles in length and 450 miles in width. Scientists claim that the dark surface is the main characteristic of this planet.
The New Horizons space craft investigated the Pluto’s dark side and came back with some stunning photographs of an astonishingly complex atmosphere that has been layered with clouds. The air around Pluto has been made with a small percentage of methane with colorless nitrogen. The haze occurs when the two gases react in the sunlight to form tiny droplets of particles known as tholins. These particles can eventually grow large so that they can settle down.
4 How were the images captured?
The scientists of NASA took these breathtaking images from the New Horizons spacecraft which has a Long Range Reconnaissance Imager or LORRI on board. LORRI captured these amazing hi-resolution pictures. The images comprised of icy mountains, streams of frozen nitrogen as well as low lying hazes with a strange arctic look as per NASA. These pictures were taken 15 minutes after its closest approach near Pluto on the 14th July 2015. The spacecraft took a look at the planet and the sun as seen to be glowing in the background.
5 The planet with many terrains!
The image here shows that the icy plain region known as Sputnik Planum is located in the West and comprises of rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet including the mountain named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. The right side comprises of glaciers. This image was taken from a distance of 11,000 miles.
Another image shows the haze that covers Pluto and it also shows that the Sunset lights up the foggy haze that is
6 Cut off by the mountains and hills
The Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Mission, Alan Stern says that nothing of such great quality was available for decades from the first flyby probe missions that were taken for Venus or Mars, but the first flyby mission to Pluto gave such amazing pictures in just 5 months.
You can also read 10 reasons the moon landing can be fake