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NASA Shares Close-Up Image of Pluto, Shows ‘True Colours’ of Dwarf Planet That Are Worth a Glance

By: Buzz Staff

Edited By: Purvi Khemani

News18.com

Last Updated: November 28, 2022, 11:08 IST

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NASA Shares Close-Up Image of Pluto, True Colours of the Dwarf Planet Are Worth Your Attention (Photo Credits: Instagram/NASA)

NASA Shares Close-Up Image of Pluto, True Colours of the Dwarf Planet Are Worth Your Attention (Photo Credits: Instagram/NASA)

NASA shared Pluto's image that demonstrated its 'true colours'. The picture that was taken at a distance of 22,025 miles from Pluto showed its 'heart' - a massive glacier made of nitrogen and methane.

Remember Pluto? Yes, once identified as the ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto was demoted in 2006 to that of a dwarf planet as it didn’t meet the criteria of a full-sized planet as considered by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Meanwhile, NASA had something interesting to offer this time and it was none other than the ‘true colours’ (in a literal sense) of Pluto that were being highlighted in its close-up image captured by the New Horizons spacecraft. The picture that was taken at a distance of 22,025 miles (33,445 km) from Pluto showed its ‘heart’, which is a massive glacier made of nitrogen and methane.

NASA Shares Close-Up Image of Pluto

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As NASA described it, “Pluto’s surface is cracked and cratered, colored white, tan, and brownish-red.” The partially visible “heart" of the dwarf planet is “a Texas-and-Oklahoma-sized glacier made of nitrogen and methane." Meanwhile, the white and the tan colours descend at the top of the picture to meet the brownish-red surface.

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To give a bit of a background, Pluto is just over 1,400 miles, which is about half the width of the United States or ⅔ of the Moon’s width. The small planet’s surface is coated with ice made of water, nitrogen, and methane, and its core is believed to be rocky. The planet with a possible deep ocean has an average temperature of -387°F or -232°C. It is also known that Pluto is not shaped as a ‘perfect circle’ like other planets. It rather takes an oval-shaped path with the Sun nowhere in its centre.

However, New Horizons is the first spacecraft to visit Pluto. It orbits at a distance of 3.7 billion miles and is expected to explore the Kuiper Belt. It’s “a region that is believed to be full of small objects leftover from the creation of our solar system,” stated the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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first published:November 28, 2022, 11:08 IST
last updated:November 28, 2022, 11:08 IST
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