The view from beyond Pluto

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Institute]

BeyondPlutoThe night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene. The space-based view with the Sun behind the distant world was captured by New Horizons last July.

The spacecraft was at a range of over 21,000 kilometers, about 19 minutes after its closest approach.

A denizen of the Kuiper Belt in dramatic silhouette, the image also reveals Pluto’s tenuous, surprisingly complex layers of hazy atmosphere. The crescent twilight landscape near the top of the frame includes southern areas of nitrogen ice plains informally known as Sputnik Planum and rugged mountains of water-ice in the Norgay Montes.


Make your day more interesting.

Every weekday, get an overview from Cosmic of the day’s biggest news, along with fascinating insights, and articles.