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Pluto has had an interesting history. It was originally discovered in 1930 and classified as the ninth planet in our solar system. However, it was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006 after new evidence was found. It has also been the subject of much debate and discussion in recent years, particularly when it comes to its color. What is the true color of Pluto?
The Mysterious Surface of Pluto
The first thing that needs to be considered when looking at the color of Pluto is its surface. Since it is so far away from Earth, it’s not easy to get a clear picture of what it looks like. The best images we have so far are from the New Horizons mission, which flew by the dwarf planet in 2015. The images revealed a surprisingly diverse landscape, with ice mountains and vast plains.
The surface of Pluto is composed mostly of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide ice. These ices, combined with the low temperature and pressure, give the surface of Pluto a unique reddish-brown hue. The reddish-brown color is caused by tholins, which are organic compounds formed when ultraviolet radiation interacts with nitrogen and methane in the atmosphere.
The Color of Pluto’s Atmosphere
The color of Pluto’s atmosphere is also an important factor to consider. The atmosphere of Pluto is made up of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. These gases, combined with the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, give the atmosphere of Pluto a blue-green color. The blue-green color is caused by sunlight scattering off small particles in the atmosphere.
The color of Pluto’s atmosphere is also affected by the presence of hazes. Hazes are tiny particles that scatter the sun’s light in different directions. The hazes can give the atmosphere of Pluto a reddish-brown color, similar to the color of the surface.
The Color of Pluto Over Time
The color of Pluto may also change over time. For example, the reddish-brown color of the surface could become darker over time due to space weathering. Space weathering is caused by ultraviolet radiation and micrometeoroids striking the surface of Pluto. This can cause the surface to become darker and more reddish-brown in color.
The color of Pluto’s atmosphere could also change over time. For example, the presence of hazes could make the atmosphere appear bluer or more green. This is because hazes scatter sunlight in different directions, which can change the way the atmosphere appears.
The Mystery of Pluto’s Color
The true color of Pluto is still a mystery. Its surface is reddish-brown due to the presence of tholins, while its atmosphere is blue-green due to sunlight scattering off small particles in the atmosphere. The color of Pluto could also change over time due to space weathering and the presence of hazes.
Ultimately, the true color of Pluto is hard to determine. We still have much to learn about this mysterious dwarf planet, and it’s likely that our understanding of its color will continue to evolve as we gain new information.