New Horizons sends back stunning partial-color images of a new world

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A red/blue/infrared image of the dwarf planet reveals that many of the features we’d seen in earlier images have their own distinctive colors. (credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI ) When last week’s batch of images came down from New Horizons, a number of our readers complained that they were all in black and white. While they gave us a sense of the planet’s rugged features and complex geology, they really didn’t tell us what this icy world  looks like. NASA may have been reading the article discussion because the latest batch of images handles the color issue—mostly. Rather than providing RGB images, however, the new batch has data on red, blue, and infrared. So it’s not full color yet, but you can revel in the fact you’re looking at information that your eyes can’t actually see. NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI A red/blue/infrared image of the dwarf planet reveals that many of the features we’d seen in earlier images have their own distinctive colors. 5 more images in gallery In any case, the colors make the planet’s rugged mountains, which show up in red and brown, look even more distinctive compared to the beige-colored plains they border. A partial view of the planet at a specific infrared wavelength shows that the different colors also line up with different chemistries: methane ices are much more common in the icy plains of Pluto than they are in the mountains. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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New Horizons sends back stunning partial-color images of a new world

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