NASA bestowed upon us a precious gift this afternoon, by releasing this crazy, psychedelic image of Pluto in false color. Using a technique called principal component analysis, NASA scientists were able to drastically exaggerate the subtle color differences on Pluto's surface. It helps to show which regions on Pluto are similar in shade and those that are vastly different. The result is a dwarf planet that looks like it's on its way to an electronic music festival held in the woods over Labor Day weekend.
The original image was taken by the Ralph/MVIC color camera on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its July flyby. Will Grundy, who's part of the New Horizons' surface composition team, showed off the new false color image this week at the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting, an annual conference that brings together planetary scientists from across the globe.
As trippy as this neon-speckled Pluto is, we thought we could take things up a notch. So NASA, we see your psychedelic dwarf planet and raise you a pulsing, psychedelic dwarf planet dancing to dubstep. (If you have a problem with strobe effects, maybe don't press play on the video below.)