NASA Releases New Images of Pluto

This synthetic perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images to be downlinked from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, shows what you would see if you were approximately 1,100 miles above Pluto’s equatorial area. The images were taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)
This synthetic perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images to be downlinked from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, shows what you would see if you were approximately 1,100 miles above Pluto’s equatorial area. The images were taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)

NASA has released the latest images from New Horizons’ historic Pluto flyby, which reveal the dwarf planet’s stunning range of surface features.

“Pluto is showing us a diversity of landforms and complexity of processes that rival anything we’ve seen in the solar system,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), in a statement released by NASA. “If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that’s what is actually there.”

The images, released on Thursday, show the most heavily cratered (and therefore oldest) terrain yet captured by New Horizons, as well as icy plains.

Images downlinked in recent days have more than doubled the amount of Pluto’s surface seen at resolutions up to 440 yards per pixel, according to NASA. “They reveal new features as diverse as possible dunes, nitrogen ice flows that apparently oozed out of mountainous regions onto plains, and even networks of valleys that may have been carved by material flowing over Pluto’s surface,” the agency said, in its statement. “They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains reminiscent of disrupted terrains on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.”

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SOURCE: Fox News

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