NASA's New Horizons Team Releases Stunning Image Of Pluto's Crescent

NASA's New Horizons team have wowed us again. They have release the latest image showing off Pluto's stunning crescent in its entirety.

We first caught sight of the breathtaking backlit picture in September.

However, despite it giving us a very quick tour of Pluto's icy mountains, streams of frozen nitrogen and haunting low-lying hazes, NASA say that image is only half the story.

The latest picture shows the dwarf planet's atmosphere creating a haze around Pluto. On the left side, you can zoom in to see "silhouetted profiles of rugged plateaus" while the icy plain Sputnik Planum can be seen on the right side.

The image was taken just 15 minutes after New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015.

In September, researchers stated that some the planet's features were "surprisingly earth-like."

"We did not expect to find hints of a nitrogen-based glacial cycle on Pluto operating in the frigid conditions of the outer solar system,” said Alan Howard, a member of the mission’s Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team.

"“Driven by dim sunlight, this would be directly comparable to the hydrological cycle that feeds ice caps on Earth, where water is evaporated from the oceans, falls as snow, and returns to the seas through glacial flow.”

“Pluto is surprisingly Earth-like in this regard,” added Stern, “and no one predicted it.”



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