2019 October 20

Pluto at Night
Image Credit:
NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Institute

Explanation: The night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene, a stunning spacebased view with the Sun 4.9 billion kilometers (almost 4.5 light-hours) behind the dim and distant world. It was captured by far flung New Horizons in July of 2015. The spacecraft was at a range of some 21,000 kilometers from Pluto, about 19 minutes after its closest approach. A denizen of the Kuiper Belt in dramatic silhouette, the image also reveals Pluto’s tenuous, surprisingly complex layers of hazy atmosphere. The crescent twilight landscape near the top of the frame includes southern areas of nitrogen ice plains now formally known as Sputnik Planitia and rugged mountains of water-ice in the Norgay Montes.

NASA, Johns Hopkins Univ./APL, Southwest Research Institute

说明: 在这片摄于影子内的精采太空景观里,冥王星的夜面占住整个视野,而太阳则在这颗遥远天体的后方。它是由已然远去的新视野号摄于2015年7月。当时这部太空船离冥王星21,000公里,大约在最近距通过后的19分钟。影像除了记录这颗以剪影之姿现身的凯伯带天体之外,也呈现了冥王星稀薄但意外复杂的朦胧大气层。影像顶缘附近的蛾眉暮光区域,涵盖了位在南方,正式名称为史泼尼克平原的氮冰原以及诺盖山脉的嵯峨水冰山峰。

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