Colorful NASA Image Shows Off Pluto’s Psychedelic Side

The vibrant picture highlights the many subtle color differences on the planetoid's surface.

Ever since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft whizzed past Pluto this summer, we’ve been enraptured by up-close-and-personal images taken of the icy planetoid.

First emerged photos capturing Pluto’s "heart." We were later treated to images that showed off its mysterious "snakeskin" appearance and haunting surface features. This week, NASA released a colorful new image of the dwarf planet.


NASA said researchers created this image using a technique called principal component analysis, which highlights "the many subtle color differences between Pluto's distinct regions."

"Think of it like turning the contrast way up, but scientifically," NBC News reported.

The out-of-this-world image was taken by the New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, while traveling about 22,000 miles away from Pluto.

The probe is now traveling even deeper into the Kuiper Belt, but it continues to send information about the planetoid to scientists on Earth. According to Reuters, it will "take about 16 months for [the craft] to transmit back all the thousands of images and measurements taken during its pass by Pluto."

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