NASA snap shows Pluto’s atmosphere in infrared wavelength

New York, Jan 29 (IANS) The US space agency NASA has released a photo taken by its New Horizons spacecraft that shows Pluto’s atmosphere in infrared wavelengths.

It is the first image of the atmosphere made with data from the New Horizons Ralph/Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) instrument.

The image, in which the sunlight is coming from above and behind Pluto, was captured on July 14, 2015, while New Horizons was about 180,000 km away.

The blue ring around Pluto is caused by sunlight scattering from haze particles common in Pluto’s atmosphere and scientists believe the haze is a photochemical smog resulting from the action of sunlight on methane and other molecules, producing a complex mixture of hydrocarbons such as acetylene and ethylene, a report on NASA’s website said.

These hydrocarbons accumulate into small particles — a fraction of a micrometer in size — which scatter sunlight to make the blue haze.

The new infrared image, when combined with earlier images made at shorter, visible wavelengths, gives scientists new clues into the size distribution of the particles.

The whitish patches around Pluto’s limb in this image are sunlight bouncing off more reflective or smoother areas on Pluto’s surface, the report noted.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here