Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 31, 2015

Farewell to Pluto (Part I)
Farewell to Pluto (Part I)

Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process. and color.

Even though it is (just slightly) unevenly backlit by the Sun, Pluto’s Atmosphere shows its "foggy" silhouette like a Luminous Halo in this beautiful image taken by the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft around midnight (EDT) on July, 15, 2015.

This global portrait of the Plutonian Atmosphere was captured when the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft was already about 1,25 Million Miles (such as approx. 2.011.675 Million KiloMeters) away from Pluto, and it shows us Atmospherical Structures (quite similar, in our opinion, as IPF, to the ones visible all around the Saturnian moon Titan) as small as roughly 12 miles (approx. 19,312 Km) across. The image, which has been received on Earth on July, 23, 2015, is displayed with the North Pole of Pluto at the top of the frame.

The image (which is an Original NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Mew Horizons Page of July, 24, 2015 and with the ID n. nh_01_stern_05_pluto_hazenew) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized (according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga-LXTT-IPF) in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards the Dwarf-Planet Pluto), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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