New Horizons Sends Back Sharpest Images of Pluto's Surface Yet

Friday, 11 December 2015 - 2:50PM
Space
Solar System
Space Imagery
Friday, 11 December 2015 - 2:50PM
New Horizons Sends Back Sharpest Images of Pluto's Surface Yet
New Horizons has been sending back a cornucopia of new information about our mysterious former ninth planet ever since the historic Pluto flyby on July 14. Now, the spacecraft has sent us the closest pictures of Pluto's surface that can possibly be taken with current technologies, and they show off a rocky terrain:

Pluto Surface

This color mosaic of Pluto's surface was made using images from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), as well as color data from another instrument. They come from New Horizons' closest approach to Pluto, which came within 7,750 miles of the dwarf planet's surface. 

Here's a close-up of the feature affectionately dubbed "The Heart of Pluto" as a result of its shape, the Tombaugh Regio:

Pluto Surface

The Tombaugh Regio consists of two lobes, where the western love, the Sputnik Planum, is smoother than the eastern lobe. According to the most recent data, the Sputnik Planum consists of a sea of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane ice. The tiny pits seen in the picture are actually hundreds of yards across and dozens of yards deep.



Via Wired.
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NASA
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