Stunning new Pluto pictures are "a scientific bonanza"

September 18, 2015 1:24 AM

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Stunning new Pluto pictures are "a scientific bonanza"

Dramatic new photos of Pluto taken by NASA's New Horizons probe during its historic July 14 flyby show multiple haze layers in the dwarf planet's tenuous nitrogen atmosphere, signs of icy fog obscuring the surface and the best views yet of nitrogen ice glaciers creeping into the now-familiar heart-shaped plain known as Sputnik Planum.

The photos, released by NASA Thursday, were snapped at an altitude of about 11,000 miles, just after New Horizons passed behind Pluto. The pictures reveal a stunning backlit crescent showing jumbled ice mountains towering 11,000 feet above the outer edges of Sputnik Planum in a scene that looks stra...

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