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Pluto and Charon, as an astronaut would see them

23 Jul 2018, 16:22 UTC
Pluto and Charon, as an astronaut would see them
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Pluto and Charon, as an astronaut would see them
07/23/18
Pluto, as the human eye would see it. Image: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker
Marking the third anniversary of the New Horizons 14 July 2015 flyby of Pluto, mission scientists have produced the most accurate colour view yet of the dwarf planet and its large moon Charon, showing the two worlds as they would appear to an astronaut’s eyes.
The natural-colour images are based on improved calibration of data collected by the probe’s Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera, or MVIC, as New Horizons was approaching Pluto the day before its close encounter.
“That processing creates images that would approximate the colours that the human eye would perceive, bringing them closer to ‘true colour’ than the images released near the encounter,” said Alex Parker, a New Horizons science team co-investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Special processing was required because the colour filters in the MVIC instrument do not closely match the wavelengths captured by the human eye. The resulting colours are more subdued than those in images released as the flyby was happening but they more closely match what a human would actually see from ...

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