NASA’s <a href="http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/index.php">New Horizons</a> probe sent back this high-resolution look at Pluto’s hazy atmosphere backlit by the sun. The multilayered blue smog is made from molecules formed when methane and nitrogen are irradiated by sunlight.

Lofty Layers

NASA’s New Horizons probe sent back this high-resolution look at Pluto’s hazy atmosphere backlit by the sun. The multilayered blue smog is made from molecules formed when methane and nitrogen are irradiated by sunlight.
Photograph by NASA/JHUAPL/Southwest Research Institute

Week’s Best Space Pictures: Pluto’s Possible Ice Volcano

Saturn’s moons size each other up, and a messy galaxy shines a mysterious X-ray beacon.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures. This week, tangled lines of glowing particles cover the sun’s surface, Pluto shows off its many-layered atmosphere, and one of the Milky Way’s brightest star clusters glitters.

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