NASA’s New Horizons Captures New Diverse Images Of Pluto

Posted: Sep 11 2015, 5:45am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 11 2015, 9:34pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA’s New Horizons Captures New Diverse Images of Pluto
This synthetic perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images to be downlinked from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, shows above Pluto’s equatorial area, looking northeast over the dark, cratered, informally named Cthulhu Regio toward the bright, smooth, expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
  • New complex pictures of Pluto baffle scientists!

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The pictures downloaded from the New Horizon shows the planet has a bewildering variety of surfaces.

A new batch of pictures has been downloaded from the New Horizon mission. The pictures show the terrain of the planet Pluto. The complexity of the terrain of Pluto has apparently baffled scientists.

According to NASA, the range and the complexity of the photos shows a bewildering variety of surface features.

One of the photos from the New Horizon gallery is called synthetic perspective view of Pluto. The photo is taken from a distance of 1,100 miles or 1,800 kilometres above Pluto’s equatorial area.

The pictures show the equatorial area, northeast over the dark also informally named Cthulhu Regio. The picture also shows bright and smooth expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum.

Jeff Moore is the leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team. According to Moore the randomly jumbled mountains seen in the photos could be huge blocks of water ice.

The blocks are floating in the softer deposit of frozen nitrogen. Another image released by NASA shows the diversity of surface reflectivity. The image also shows the geological landforms on the dwarf planet.

While another image shows dark and ancient heavily cratered terrain. The same picture also shows bright and smooth geologically young terrain. An assembled mass of mountains is also visible along with aligned ridges that resemble dunes. The origin of the landscape of Pluto is under debate by scientists.

Mosaic of high-resolution images of Pluto, sent back from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft from Sept. 5 to 7, 2015. The image is dominated by the informally-named icy plain Sputnik Planum, the smooth, bright region across the center. This image also features a tremendous variety of other landscapes surrounding Sputnik. The smallest visible features are 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) in size, and the mosaic covers a region roughly 1,000 miles (1600 kilometers) wide. The image was taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers). Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Moore also shared the images prove the dwarf planet is just as complex as Mars. Even the atmosphere and the moon of Pluto are more complex than previously imagined.

In the center of this 300-mile (470-kilometer) wide image of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is a large region of jumbled, broken terrain on the northwestern edge of the vast, icy plain informally called Sputnik Planum, to the right. The smallest visible features are 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) in size. This image was taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers).


This 220-mile (350-kilometer) wide view of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft illustrates the incredible diversity of surface reflectivities and geological landforms on the dwarf planet. The image includes dark, ancient heavily cratered terrain; bright, smooth geologically young terrain; assembled masses of mountains; and an enigmatic field of dark, aligned ridges that resemble dunes; its origin is under debate. The smallest visible features are 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) in size. This image was taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers). Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

This image of Pluto’s largest moon Charon, taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft 10 hours before its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 290,000 miles (470,000 kilometers), is a recently downlinked, much higher quality version of a Charon image released on July 15. Charon, which is 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) in diameter, displays a surprisingly complex geological history, including tectonic fracturing; relatively smooth, fractured plains in the lower right; several enigmatic mountains surrounded by sunken terrain features on the right side; and heavily cratered regions in the center and upper left portion of the disk. There are also complex reflectivity patterns on Charon’s surface, including bright and dark crater rays, and the conspicuous dark north polar region at the top of the image. The smallest visible features are 2.9 miles 4.6 kilometers) in size. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

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