Pluto Color Projection and a Small Design Update
I am absolutely floored by what we are seeing at Pluto. A small body — far, ever so far away from the warmth of it’s Sun that somehow generates enough of it’s own energy to produce a considerable amount of geologic activity. There are very few craters on Pluto and for that matter, very few on Charon as well. This means that both their surfaces, in geological terms, are fairly young.
Shown above is an early best guess at Pluto’s actual colors. The “color” image that has saturated all forms of media is actually just a monochrome with the colors seen earlier in the mission laid over it. So that is really just an artificial duotone. Shown above is a gorgeous color image with best-guesses at Pluto’s true colors based upon chemical maps made by New Horizons.
Honestly, I did not think that Pluto would be this fascinating. I was worried the poster would wind up being two grey cratered balls with a very cool New Horizons spacecraft zipping by. Instead, I am having issues with the spacecraft covering over too much of the beautiful Plutionian surface.
The next design update will include a completely redrawn Charon now that we have a high resolution image of it. Hopefully new full color images will be included in the last release before the data blackout that is expected to last until mid-September to help finalize the three colors used on the screenprint.