New Color Images Reveal Two Distinct Faces of Pluto
New color images from New Horizons
spacecraft, which will fly by Pluto already on 14th July, show two very different faces of the distant dwarf planet, one with a series of intriguing spots along the equator that are evenly spaced. Scientists have yet to see anything quite like the dark spots; their presence has piqued the interest of the New Horizons science team, due to the remarkable consistency in their spacing and size. While the origin of the spots is a mystery for now, the answer may be revealed as the spacecraft continues its approach to Pluto. Tune in!
image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Venus and Jupiter are Close : On June 30, Venus and Jupiter were close in western skies at dusk. Near the culmination of this year’s gorgeous conjunction, the two bright evening planets are captured in the same telescopic field of view in this image taken after sunset from Bejing, China. As the two bright planets set together in the west, a nearly Full Moon rose above the horizon to the south and east. Imaged that night with the same telescope and camera, the rising Moon from the opposite part of the sky is compared with the planetary conjunction for scale in the digitally composited image. The full lunar disk covers an angle of about ½ degree on the sky. Visible as well in binoculars and small telescopes are Venus’ crescent and Jupiter’s four Galilean moons. Of course, Venus and Jupiter are still close. via NASA
mission to Europa is now under development after NASA gave the green
light to a mission concept which would send a spacecraft to conduct
flybys of Jupiter’s icy moon sometime in the 2020s to assess the world’s
potential habitability. The mission concept passed its first major
review by the agency, allowing the mission concept to enter the
formulation stage of development.
The Photon Sphere is a spherical region of space that has gravity strong enough to force photons to travel in orbits. If you were to stand in this region and look straight ahead, you would see the back of your head.