NASA Releases Breathtaking New Photo Of Pluto

The dwarf planet at its finest.

Those who still haven't fully forgiven NASA for its demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet can find some solace in a stunning photo released by the space agency this week. The image is part of those captured by the New Horizons spacecraft that began transmitting photos and data from the planet back to Earth in July 2015. 

The picture was created by editing together six black-and-white images and one lower resolution color image that were taken about 120,000 miles from the dwarf planet - New Horizon's closest approach to Pluto. 



NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

According to NASA, the blue haze around the planet is the result of sunlight interacting with gases and other particles in Pluto's atmosphere in a similar way to the phenomenon that causes the Earth's atmosphere to sometimes look blue. The planet's mountains can be seen faintly silhouetted near the top of the image. 

As scientists continue to sift through the data being transmitted by New Horizons, the spacecraft has continued its journey beyond Pluto to explore other objects. Follow the mission in its entirety at NASA's website.

(H/T Mashable)

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