NASA video shows Pluto's mountains and plains, and it's pretty awesome

Eloi Lecerf
Julho 16, 2017

To celebrate the milestone, and to take advantage of the data and photos NASA collected along the way, the agency released a new video on Friday showing Earth-bound viewers what it would be like to fly past Pluto's surface. The mosaic shows how Pluto's large-scale color patterns extend beyond the hemisphere facing New Horizons at closest approach, which were imaged at the highest resolution.

Now, using data gathered by the New Horizons spacecraft when it flew past the pint-sized planet in 2015, NASA has published a video that offers the best look yet at what it would be like to fly high over Pluto's frigid peaks and valleys, and it's glorious. The tour moves north past the rugged and fractured highlands of Voyager Terra and then turns southward over Pioneer Terra - which exhibits deep and wide pits - before concluding over the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere. North is up; Pluto's equator roughly bisects the band of dark red terrains running across the lower third of the map. The viewer first passes over the western margin of Sputnik, where it borders the dark, cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula, with the blocky mountain ranges located within the plains seen on the right. Here's another NASA statement on the spacecraft's next target.

The spacecraft will on January 1, 2019 will get closer to a Kuiper Belt object known as 2014 MU69, NASA said.

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Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 67.87 points, or 1.1%, to 6,261.17, for a fourth straight day of gains. The Nikkei closed 0.01 percent higher at 20,099.81, while the broader Topix ended down 0.01 percent to 1,619.11.

"These results are telling us something really interesting", said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of SwRI.

Check out the star brightness, predicted shadow path and other tech specs for the July 10 and July 17 occultation events.

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