Image Gallery: the mountains and canyons of Pluto and Charon

The icy mountains of Pluto. Photo Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
The icy mountains of Pluto. Photo Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The first-ever closeup view of Pluto’s surface from the flyby by New Horizons has been released, as well as the best view yet of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon. The new Pluto image shows mountains up to  3,500 metres (11,000 feet) tall in this region, unexpected on such a small, cold planetary body. They are thought to be made of solid water ice and no more than 100,000 years old, which is very young geologically. Those and other features suggest that Pluto may still be geologically active even now.

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Image Gallery: Pluto Just Before Closest Approach

Photo Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Photo Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The best ever photo of Pluto so far was just released by NASA as New Horizons neared closest approach (and successfully completed), taken on July 13, 2015 from a distance of 768,000 kilometres (476,000 miles). We can now see this world in detail for the first time in history. The probe is now on the other side of Pluto, heading outward. Many more images from closest approach are to come, and a lot of other data, starting tomorrow!

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Image Gallery – Pluto and Charon, July 11, 2015

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

The latest image of Pluto from New Horizons, taken on July 11, 2015, has just been posted. More interesting geological features can now be seen, including possible cliffs and a crater, as well as the other bright and dark patches. There is also a new image of Pluto’s largest moon Charon, showing chasms, craters and the large dark area at the north pole. It is now less than two days until closest approach, at 7:49 AM EDT on July 14!

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Image Gallery – Pluto, July 11, 2015

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The latest image of Pluto from New Horizons, taken on July 11, 2015 from 4 million kilometres (2.5 million miles) away. The four dark spots along the equator (next to the “whale” feature)  can be seen better now, but will be on the other side of the dwarf planet when New Horizons passes by. It is now only three days until closest approach!

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