Can you suggest a Pluto portrait?

173399main_two_moons_jupiter_lg[Cross-posted from KySat] The Planetary Society provides an update on New Horizons, including a description of some tough choices the mission managers will have to make as the craft heads toward an encounter with Pluto, Charon and the Kuiper Belt.

The mission team is also soliciting ideas from the public, hoping to increase its chances for "Kodak moments" - pictures prized for their artistic merit rather than their scientific value.

As Emily Lakdawalla notes at the Planetary Society, a similar effort lead to a couple of the most spectacular images taken of the Jupiter system as New Horizons passed by last year, one of which is reproduced above. It is among my favorite images from our solar system.

In the image, volcanic Io and more placid Europa can be seen in the same frame but they are in reality separated by a distance of nearly 800,000 kilometers. Easily visible in the picture, the spectacular Tvashtar plume on Io erupts about 300 kilometers into space.

Wayne

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute