A new NASA video provides more detailed images of Pluto’s terrains. The image strip was taken by the camera of the New Horizons spacecraft, as a part of a mission to the icy planet to explore its surface’s formation.

On July 14, 2015, New Horizons spacecraft flew close to Pluto as an attempt to observe it. Recently, the space agency has released compiled never-seen images, took ten months ago, of landscapes composing the dwarf planet.

New Horizons images of Pluto
The cameras on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured Pluto rotating over the course of a full “Pluto day.” Credit: NASA

The pictures taken by the NASA probe gives researchers the opportunity to analyze each side of Pluto’s terrain carefully.

The images count with a resolution of approximately 80 meters per pixel, and they provide both. NASA investigators and the general public will be provided with a high-resolution view of a planet surface that has not been examined before. So, the mosaic allows a close-up of Pluto’s different types of terrains, and it also will help discover the formation origins of the surface and how it took shape.

In the video released by NASA, it is possible to visualize how the spacecraft’s camera captured Pluto’s limb, and the strip extends almost up to Pluto’s day-night terminator (ending line). Thus, the film strip could monitor and take detailed evidence of all types of grounds existing in the icy planet. 

“The perspective changes greatly along the strip: at its northern end, the view looks out horizontally across the surface, while at its southern end, the view looks straight down onto the surface,” added NASA’s investigators.

According to Alan Stern, lead researcher in New Horizons mission from Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, the mosaic obtained by the probe is just a magnetic one. This fact tempts him to want to board on another mission in Pluto quest for more high-resolution images all across Pluto’s surface.

The pictures composing the mosaic were taken by using New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). New Horizons camera could take the images even at a distance of 9,850 miles (15,850 kilometers) apart from the dwarf planet.

NASA scientists have stated that the mosaic of Puto has been so far the most detailed one of the planet. The images were taken on July 2015, when the spacecraft started its mission and got a closer distance (23 minutes away) from Pluto’s surface.   

Since the New Horizons spacecraft began observing Pluto, several pictures of the planet have been captured. However, considering the high resolution of the last ones, they have attracted attention among investigators because now, it is possible to carry out a deeper research concerned with Pluto’s surface.  

Source: Space Coast Daily