Pluto Occulation Shadow (IMAGE) Southwest Research Institute Caption During the August 15, 2018, Pluto occultation event, several telescopes deployed near the middle of the shadow’s path observed a phenomenon called a “central flash,” caused by Pluto’s atmosphere refracting light into a region at the very center of the shadow. This central flash indicates that the occultation data are very robust, bolstering SwRI’s findings that confirm that Pluto’s atmosphere is freezing out onto its surface as it moves farther away from the Sun. Credit NASA/SwRI Usage Restrictions Images/videos may be used by the media and the public for educational and informational purposes only License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.