Our Highest Resolution Views Yet of Pluto’s Surface
The Mountainous Shoreline of Sputnik Planum on Pluto. Great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains. Some mountain sides appear coated in dark material, while other sides are bright. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.
The New Horizons spacecraft has been slowly sending back all the images and data it gathered during its July flyby of the Pluto system. The latest batch of images to arrive here on Earth contains some of the highest resolution views yet that it captured of Pluto’s surface, taken during the spacecraft’s closest approach.
The images show a wide variety of spectacular craters, mountains and glaciers. The New Horizons team said the images have resolutions of about 250-280 feet (77-85 meters) per pixel – revealing features less than half the size of a city block on the diverse surface of the distant dwarf planet. The images are six times better than the resolution of the global Pluto map New Horizons obtained.
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