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Here’s What It Would Look Like to Land on Pluto’s Heart

A view of Pluto's surface imaged by NASA's New Horizons in July 2015

A view of Pluto’s surface imaged by NASA’s New Horizons in July 2015. The yellow bar is 15 miles across. (Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI)

What would it look like to approach Pluto for a landing? Perhaps some day in the future a robotic mission will do exactly that and we’ll know for sure, but for now we have to use our imaginations…luckily we do have some incredible images of Pluto to help with the details, thanks to NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft!

Using images and data acquired by New Horizons during its historic close pass by Pluto on July 14, 2015, researchers have assembled a video simulating an approach to Pluto’s surface, centering in on a “landing site” along the edge of Sputnik Planum: the heart-shaped “sea” of nitrogen ice cells.

Watch the video below:

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These Are Now Our Best Views Yet of Pluto’s Surface

Pluto Detail 1

High-resolution LORRI image of Pluto’s surface obtained on July 14, 2015 showing the border between the Al-Idrisi mountains and Sputnik Planum. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

I’ve mentioned before that better and better image data would be arriving on Earth from the New Horizons spacecraft, and these new pictures prove it!

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