New space missions come back to earth with entertaining news, revealing insightful information about colors, textures and new substances discovered on planets in outer space.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will approach Pluto on July 14 but until then, entertaining images reveal precious findings. The future mission represents the most advanced step taken into the Pluto direction, allowing scientists to see exactly what happens on the Dwarf Planet.
The spacecraft was launched in January 2006 and will fly within 7,750 miles of Pluto’s moons. Until July 14, we can enchant our eyes and feed our minds with fresh images and info coming from Pluto. A series of images captured by New Horizons recently show light and dark landscapes on Pluto’s surface, a bright fringe of what could be defined as frost evaporating from its pole and a dark spot on one of Charon’s poles.
The first color movies revealing images with Pluto and Charon unfold in an orbital dance of two celestial bodies and are assembled from images made in three colors, namely red, blue and near-infrared. The images were captured by the Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera on a special instrument known as Ralph. Also, the images were taken in less than a week on different occasions, starting with May 29 until June 3.
The most interesting detail of the recent images lays in the color difference of the two planets. Pluto and Charon reveal themselves in completely different shades, with Pluto being beige-orange and Charon revealing itself in shades of gray.
Pluto has five more moons and it represents a binary planet system, as Pluto and Charon, its larger friend, are large enough to be called planets. They orbit around a point in space that is placed in between them.
The Pluto-Charon couple is a very interesting combo discovered in 1978, with Charon being only half the size of Pluto, filled with enough mass to be a co-orbiting partner, together with Pluto constructing the only known binary pair in our solar system. One side of Charon faces its parent body on a continuous basis and this configuration is known as tidal locking.
New Horizons will approach Pluto on July 14, analyzing its surface and material in a trial to uncover its secrets and inner workings. Pluto and Charon are fascinatingly different in color and structure, but their differences make them work together as a perfect couple of planets dancing in space.
Image Source: borderlandresearch.com