NASA 太空船把最新的彩色冥王星照片傳回地球

Artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft as it approaches Pluto and its three moons in summer 2015. The craft's miniature cameras, radio science experiment, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers and space plasma experiments would characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and large moon Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto's atmosphere in detail. The spacecraft's most prominent design feature is a nearly 7-foot (2.1-meter) dish antenna, through which it will communicate with Earth from as far as 4.7 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) away.

雖然冥王星的行星之位已被拿掉,但不代表人們便會對它全無興趣。在 2006 年發射前往冥王星的 New Horizons 太空船目前已經接近這個被降級為矮行星的天體,並且在 5 月 29 號至 6 月 3 號期間利用船上的「多色相機」(Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera)分別拍攝了它九次。這個相機能拍到藍色、紅色和近紅色線,在經合成之後得出下面這彩色但模糊的動態照,就連在它外圍公轉的冥衛一(Charon,冥王星的其中一個衛星)也被拍到;我們可以見到冥王星是呈米黃色,而冥衛一則是呈灰色。接下來, New Horizons 將會在 7 月 14 號最接近冥王星之時(約 12,550 公里之外 )再次拍攝它的外貌,希望屆時有較清楚的照片吧。

來源: NASA, New Horizons Mission

經由: Engadget