A new close-up view of Pluto’s surface was released today, this time showing an expanse of icy plains next to the previous mountains imaged earlier. More bizarre and unexpected terrain, with polygons similar to ones seen in icy regions on Mars and Earth, but on a larger scale, and how they’re formed here isn’t known yet. Other mounds and small pits are also visible. As noted in the press conference again, Pluto is turning out to show much more evidence for geological activity than had been anticipated. This image version still has compression artifacts in it, but there are more and higher-resolution images to come!
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.
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!
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!
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!
The latest image of Pluto from New Horizons, taken on July 9, 2015 from 5.4 million kilometres (3.3 million miles) away. The long dark feature along the equator called the “whale” is at the bottom of the image, and another band of “complex terrain” including polygonal features above that stretches for about 1,609 kilometres (1,000 miles). It is now only three days until closest approach!