Probing Pluto’s Paltry Atmosphere Using A Solar Eclipse And Spacecraft

Artist's conception of the Pluto system from the surface of one of its moons. Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

Artist’s conception of the Pluto system from the surface of one of its moons. Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

Pluto is so far away from us and so tiny that it’s hard to glean even basic facts about it. What is its tenuous atmosphere made of? And how to observe it during NASA’s New Horizons very brief flyby next July? A recent Johns Hopkins blog post explains how a careful maneuver post-Pluto will let investigators use the Sun to examine the dwarf planet’s true nature.

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© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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