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NASA Captures Stunning Image Of Pluto Eclipsing The Sun

24 Jul 2015, 20:29 UTC
NASA Captures Stunning Image Of Pluto Eclipsing The Sun
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New Horizons captured a hauntingly beautiful image of Pluto’s far side backlit by the sun.

The latest image revealed from NASA’s historic flyby of Pluto casts the dwarf planet in a completely new light. The image, captured shortly after New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto, shows a halo of light surrounding the dwarf planet.

The image was captured as Pluto eclipsed the sun, allowing its atmosphere to be revealed, and creating a stunning silhouette of the dwarf planet. The halo around Pluto is the result of light from the sun scattering off of the dwarf planet’s thin, cold atmosphere.

The silhouette of Pluto was captured by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager on board New Horizons just 7 hours after the spacecraft made its closest approach on July 14. The image was taken at a distance of 1.25 million miles from the dwarf planet and can resolve structures as small as 12 miles wide.

“This is our equivalent of Apollo’s Earthrise image,” New Horizons principle investigator Alan Stern said during a press conference on Friday.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured this silhouette image of the far side of Pluto shortly after its flyby of the dwarf planet. ...

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