Category Archives: Pluto
Just a week after releasing some of the most incredible images of a planetary surface ever, the New Horizons team did it again today with even more new views of distant Pluto — this time with a high-resolution enhanced color image of Pluto that just begs to be intimately explored, pixel by pixel (and this is, in fact, what SwRI team member Alex Parker had to do over the past week in order to prepare the image for presentation.)
A low-res version is seen here, in which I have expanded the edges in order to fit nicely on a HD monitor in the event that you might want to use it as a desktop image (like me.) But in order to really experience it you have to download the full 8000×8000-pixel version here, which may take some time depending on the activity NASA’s servers are getting but trust me, it’s worth it.
There’s a lot going on in this image, which is by the way our highest-resolution enhanced-color image yet of Pluto, and you can read all about it here. But for now just enjoy. There will be much more to come!
Source: NASA/New Horizons
But they are real, and that’s what’s so great!
Obviously you’re already looking at one of them above: it’s a view of Pluto captured after New Horizons had already made its closest pass over Pluto on July 14 and was moving into its night side, giving a literally unprecedented perspective of the planet in backlit detail. With this low-angle lighting Pluto’s surface features are emphasized and its multi-layered atmospheric haze is highlighted in amazing detail.
Incredible, right? Well, get an even better look in the next one:
This newly-released picture of Pluto isn’t quite what our eyes would perceive… but then our eyes aren’t high-tech scientific imaging sensors like the ones aboard New Horizons! An enhanced-color image made from data acquired by the spacecraft’s LORRI and Ralph cameras on July 13, 2015, this view of Pluto shows the many variations in surface compositions across the planet’s visible area. What the compositions are specifically and how they got to be in the places they’re in are questions still being worked on by scientists, so for now we can all just have fun speculating and enjoy the view!
A new image from New Horizons has emerged, showing a new, smaller mountain range on the southwestern border of Pluto’s “heart” region. The image was captured during the July 14 flyby, during which time the spacecraft passed less than 8,000 miles from the planet’s surface.
Three days after New Horizons‘ flight through the Pluto system and the data is coming in fast and furious (albeit quite highly compressed!), giving scientists a virtual “toy box” of new findings to make about these distant worlds’ exotic nature. On Wednesday we got our first looks at Pluto’s 11,000-foot-high mountains, now informally named Norgay Montes (making them the first extraterrestrial features to be named after a Nepali) and on Thursday we saw the surface of Charon, where a mountain seems to have been sunk into a cavity of some sort. Today during another press conference from
Johns Hopkins University NASA HQ in Washington, DC more of Pluto’s surface was revealed, along with some preliminary findings about its surprisingly-extensive atmosphere. These are some of the highlights…
It’s only been a day since we got our first glimpse of Pluto’s mountainous terrain from New Horizons but there’s already a 3D video, created by Mattias Malmer. Of course it’s not comprehensively accurate imagery of the region, since there was only that one perspective image to work from, but it gives a fascinating look at what the area might look like from multiple angles. Check it out above and let your Plutonian fantasies run wild (again!)