Pluto Through Stained Glass

Explanation: How does the LEISA instrument (part of Ralph) work? This is a still frame of a colorful movie drifting across Pluto by was recorded by New Horizons' LEISA infrared imaging spectrometer during the July 14 closest approach. Click the image above to view the movie. The animation shown here is one such movie collected by New Horizons during its flyby of Pluto. Each pixel is colored to show the relative wavelength of light that each pixel was allowed to see by LEISA's linear filter. However, since LEISA sees in infrared light, the colors LEISA can see have been re-mapped for this video onto the human visual spectrum — the rainbow. The video has been sped up from its raw frame rate to show the motion smoothly.


Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker