WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pluto is turning brighter and redder as its 248-year-long rotation around the sun changes its seasons, NASA reported on Thursday.
The U.S. space agency released new images taken by the orbiting Hubble space telescope that show Pluto’s northern hemisphere growing brighter and the entire planet looking redder.
“These changes are most likely consequences of surface ice melting on the sunlit pole and then refreezing on the other pole, as the dwarf planet heads into the next phase of its 248-year-long seasonal cycle,” NASA’S Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore said in a statement.
More pictures of Pluto, which has been demoted to a minor planet, can be seen at hubblesite.org/news/2010/06.
Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Eric Walsh