Pluto Spectacular! Glaciers, Hazes, Majestic Peaks Revealed in New Photos
Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. The smooth expanse of the informally named icy plain Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked on the left by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. To the right, east of Sputnik, rougher terrain is cut by apparent glaciers. The backlighting highlights over a dozen layers of haze in Pluto’s tenuous but distended atmosphere. The image was taken from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 km). Be sure to click for a large version to better see the details described.
As the hazy, lazy days of summer come to a close, the New Horizons team released a brand new set of incredible images of a very atmospheric Pluto.
Can you believe the detail in these photos? Back-lit by the Sun, we see icy plains, rugged mountains, glacier-cut terrain and multiple layers of haze just like those on a steamy August afternoon.(…)
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