Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Flyover of Pluto's majestic mountains and icy plains

Flyover of Pluto's majestic mountains and icy plains

While humans may not make it to Pluto any time in the near future, NASA is allowing people to get a taste of what it would be like with a new flyby video.

You can relive New Horizons' epic Pluto flyby, thanks to two awesome videos NASA released Friday (July 14), the two-year anniversary of the landmark event.

This new, detailed global mosaic color map of Pluto is based on a series of three color filter images obtained by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera aboard New Horizons during the NASA spacecraft's close flyby of Pluto in July 2015. The zoomed camera shows the planet's icy plains and stunning mountain ranges, revealing its wonderful bladed terrain in further details exhibiting deep and broad pits.

This New Horizon flyover Pluto video is focused on the dwarf planet Pluto and featuring the nitrogen icy-plains which is called "Sputnik Planitia" - defines as a high-albedo ice which is covered on Pluto's surface, it is about 1,050 by 800 km (650 by 500 mi) in size, it constitutes the western half of the planet's heart-shaped Tombaugh Region. The probe first captured the images of a dwarf planet in July 2015, giving a new perspective of more that could be found on the icy and rocky planet in the solar system. It released two videos, one of Pluto itself and a second of Pluto's largest moon, Charon.

"The tour moves north past the rugged and fractured highlands of Voyager Terra and then turns southward over Pioneer Terra - which exhibits deep and wide pits - before concluding over the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere", NASA said.

"The complexity of the Pluto system - from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere - has been beyond our wildest imagination", said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. All feature names in the Pluto system are informal. It aims to pass an object labelled 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.

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