26 mars 2016

Nuages de Pluton

Pour la première fois, nous pouvons observer les nuages de Pluton:

The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew past Pluto last July, may have discovered clouds hovering above the surface, New Scientist can exclusively reveal.

Images released publicly (see bottom image) by the New Horizons team have already shown off Pluto’s surprisingly complex atmosphere, featuring many layers of haze rising above icy mountains. But in emails and images seen by New Scientist, researchers on the mission discuss the possibility that they have spotted individual clouds, pointing to an even richer atmospheric diversity.

(...) The emails do not discuss what the clouds might be made of. They are likely to be of similar composition to the general atmosphere, which according to the team’s upcoming Science paper, consists of nitrogen, with traces of methane, acetylene, ethylene and ethane.

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