Mapping Pluto's Methane Ice

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Mapping Pluto's Methane Ice
Release Date: September 24, 2015
Keywords: LEISA, LORRI, Pluto, Ralph
The Ralph/LEISA infrared spectrometer on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft mapped compositions across Pluto's surface as it flew past the planet on July 14, 2015. On the left, a map of methane ice abundance shows striking regional differences, with stronger methane absorption indicated by the brighter purple colors, and lower abundances shown in black. Data have only been received so far for the left half of Pluto’s disk. At right, the methane map is merged with higher-resolution images from the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI).

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
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