Oct 21, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

New Horizons Sees Possible Clouds On Pluto


The ongoing American Astronomical Society (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences Conference has presented data taken from the New Horizons Mission that suggests the presence of possible clouds in the indistinct atmosphere of the distant planet Pluto.

Mission scientists also presented additional data concerning Pluto and its moon, Charon at the AAS Division conference held in Pasadena, California. The New Horizon spacecraft has also ascertained that Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 beyond Pluto displays the same distinct red color as Pluto.

Mission scientists presupposed that Pluto's atmosphere might contain clouds as shown by faint images close to the planet's surface taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager and Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera of the New Horizon spacecraft.

Presently, scientists cannot confirm the existence of the clouds in Pluto's atmosphere until additional data can verify their findings. The last scheduled Pluto flyby of the New Horizon spacecraft on Oct. 23 might shed more light on the matter.

Alex Stern, chief mission investigator from Southwestern Research Institute commented that "If there are clouds, it would mean the weather on Pluto is even more complex than we imagined

Another mission investigator, Bonnie Burrati of the Jet Populsion Laboratory of NASA, Pasadena, California, reacting to the bright areas seen at Pluto's surface said " That brightness indicates surface activity. Because we see a high pattern of surface reflectivity equating to activity, we can infer that the dwarf planet Eris, which is known to be highly reflective, is also likely to be active."

The brightest areas like the Tombaugh Regio are known to be the most active geological features on the surface of Pluto.

As the New Horizon spacecraft flies across our solar system after its next Pluto flyby, scientists expect more revealing information from the space objects that the mission is scheduled to explore.

cientists are not the ones excited about the findings of New Horizon. The whole world is similarly thrilled by the new discoveries. 

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