Pluto Is In Love Showing A Giant Heart

Posted: Jul 9 2015, 8:51am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 9 2015, 9:03am CDT, in Latest Science News


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Pluto is in Love Showing a Giant Heart

Pluto is talking to us in sign language. We already saw the whale and the donut and now a giant heart.

Summary for the busy Geek

Planet Pluto loves us earthlings and shows a giant heart on the surface. NASA has released a new image sent by the New Horizons that is the closest yet. It was taken after the anomaly encountered on the weekend. The new image is proof that everything still works.

The Details

A heart shaped light area shows up on the latest image of Pluto that New Horizons has sent on July 8. This images is the first that New Horizons has sent to earth after the glitch on July 4. This is the most detailed image of Pluto yet returned by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard New Horizons.

The image was taken on July 7, when the spacecraft was just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto. This view is centered roughly on the area that will be seen close-up during New Horizons’ July 14 closest approach. This side of Pluto is dominated by three broad regions of varying brightness. Most prominent are an elongated dark feature at the equator, informally known as “the whale,” and a large heart-shaped bright area measuring some 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) across on the right. Above those features is a polar region that is intermediate in brightness.

“The next time we see this part of Pluto at closest approach, a portion of this region will be imaged at about 500 times better resolution than we see today,” said Jeff Moore, Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team Leader of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “It will be incredible!”

Earlier images of Pluto showed regions that are shaped like a whale and a donut. There are also three dark spots that intrigue space fans and scientists. The New Horizons spacecraft will be the closest to Pluto on July 14.

Knowledge for Geeks

It is getting exciting for NASA's Pluto flyby mission team. After a more than nine-year, three-billion-mile journey to Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft will at the closest distance on July 14 at 7:49:57 am EDT. New Horizons will be approximately 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) above the surface at this time.

NASA has started daily briefings about the final approach to Pluto on NASA TV airing daily now at 11:30am EDT until July 14. On July 14 the Pluto Countdown Program will air from 7:30am to 8am. The images of the Pluto Flyby will be released on Wednesday July 15 at 3 to 4pm.

To get educated on Pluto watch NASA's Pluto in a minute video series below.

New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Built by the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). The goal of the mission is to understand the formation of the Pluto system, the Kuiper Belt, and the transformation of the early Solar System.

The spacecraft will study the atmospheres, surfaces, interiors and environments of Pluto and its moons. It will also study other objects in the Kuiper Belt. Find more on the historic space mission background on Wikipedia and NASA.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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