NASA releases stunning video that lets you flyby Pluto
Jul 18 2017
The New Horizons spacecraft captured over 1,200 pictures of Pluto planet and huge data during its probe, which NASA scientists are still examining.
The scientists used the actual New Horizon data and the new advanced elevation models of Pluto planet together with its biggest moon, Charon, to produce stunning movies that gives spectacular new outlook of many unusual features that were discovery earlier. Maybe that's part of what makes this new Pluto flyover video from NASA so lovely. To celebrate the anniversary, scientists releaseddetailed maps of both Pluto and Charon.
In the description of the video, NASA officials wrote, "The viewer first passes over the western margin of Sputnik, where it borders the dark, cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula, with the blocky mountain ranges located within the plains seen on the right".
The video, posted on Twitter, shows mountain ranges, craters and icy caverns scattered around the planet's surface.
The flyby also found that all five of Pluto's moons are the same age, and thus were likely formed in the same impact incident between Pluto and other celestial object billions of years ago.
In July 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft took the first close observations of Pluto and Charon, which later became these maps.
The video ends in the far east of the encounter hemisphere, an area called Tartarus Dorsa. The mosaic shows how Pluto's large-scale color patterns extend beyond the hemisphere facing New Horizons at closest approach, which were imaged at the highest resolution. Pluto's giant, informally named Sputnik Planitia glacier - the left half of Pluto's signature "heart" feature - is at the center of this map.
"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.
The view itself is pretty spectacular, but it also gives us a newer, more unique perspective on Pluto's terrain.
The New Horizons spacecraft made its flight around Pluto on July 14, 2015.