December 8, 2021

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Tantalizing Pluto views suggest active surface but won’t be seen again for 161 years

4 min read

For a brief moment in time in July 2018, the solar system aligned to show Earth the fully sunlit disk of Pluto, an arrangement that won’t occur again for 161 years.

Planetary scientist Bonnie Buratti was ready: She had been waiting for a decade for the opportunity to catch the rare sight in hopes of filling a gap in knowledge that even the carefully planned New Horizons mission couldn’t tackle. The result is an enigmatic plot of light from Pluto and its moon, Charon.

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