When NASA's New Horizons mission finally got close enough to nab some truly spectacular images of Pluto, everyone was excited. After years of grainy images of the (maybe) dwarf planet, we finally got to see Pluto in all her glory. In black and white:
and true-color (based off information from NASA's Ralph imaging instrument):
Now, it seems, NASA scientists are having a bit of fun with the images — as demonstrated by the newest one, published yesterday, and dubbed "Psychedelic Pluto."
The space agency wrote in a caption that "New Horizons scientists made this false color image of Pluto using a technique called principal component analysis to highlight the many subtle color differences between Pluto's distinct regions."
NASA explains that "the image data were collected by the spacecraft’s Ralph/MVIC color camera… from a range of 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometers)."
NASA scientists also put together a fun Pluto collage last month:
The images that make up the mosaic were collected using the hashtag #PlutoTime, and "include not only dim skies on Earth, but famous landmarks, selfies, and even family pets."
We can't wait to see what Pluto will look like next.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.