CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The sky over Pluto may not be sunny but it’s undoubtedly blue.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft discovered Pluto’s blue sky during the historic flyby of the icy dwarf planet in July. The images of Pluto’s atmospheric haze were beamed down last week and released by NASA on Thursday.
Scientists say the particles in the atmospheric haze are actually red and gray. But the way the particles scatter blue light is what has everyone excited. Principal scientist Alan Stern calls the blue sky “gorgeous.” The blue tint can help scientists understand the size and makeup of the haze particles surrounding Pluto, where twilight constantly reigns.
In another finding Thursday, scientists have uncovered numerous ice patches on Pluto’s surface. The exposed water ice appears to be, mysteriously, red.