Pluto photos from NASA’s New Horizons show surface’s complexity

New detailed photos of Pluto show complexity of terrain
(Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock)

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has delivered more detailed imagery of Pluto, showing a jumbled, broken terrain.

Described by scientists as a ‘bewildering variety of surface features’, the terrain is way more varied and complex than originally thought.

CREDIT: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Rex Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock (5068896b) 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 (1,800 kilometers) above Pluto?s equatorial area, looking northeast over the dark, cratered, informally named Cthulhu Regio toward the bright, smooth, expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum. The entire expanse of terrain seen in this image is 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) across. The images were taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) Pluto Images from NASA's New Horizons - 10 Sep 2015 New close-up images of Pluto from NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity. New Horizons began its yearlong download of new images and other data over the Labor Day weekend. Images downlinked in the past few days have more than doubled the amount of Pluto?s surface seen at resolutions as good as 400 meters (440 yards) per pixel. 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. They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains reminiscent of disrupted terrains on Jupiter?s icy moon Europa.
(Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock)

The images over the last few days have doubled the amount of Pluto’s surface viewed.

Scientist have reported 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.

CREDIT: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Rex Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock (5068896e) This 220-mile (350-kilometer) wide view of Pluto from NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft illustrates the incredible diversity of surface reflectivities and geological landforms on the dwarf planet. The image includes dark, ancient heavily cratered terrain; bright, smooth geologically young terrain; assembled masses of mountains; and an enigmatic field of dark, aligned ridges that resemble dunes; its origin is under debate. The smallest visible features are 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) in size. This image was taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) Pluto Images from NASA's New Horizons - 10 Sep 2015 New close-up images of Pluto from NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity. New Horizons began its yearlong download of new images and other data over the Labor Day weekend. Images downlinked in the past few days have more than doubled the amount of Pluto?s surface seen at resolutions as good as 400 meters (440 yards) per pixel. 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. They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains reminiscent of disrupted terrains on Jupiter?s icy moon Europa.
(Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock)

They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains reminiscent of disrupted terrains on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

There is even a fly-by video

Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, has also been captured, showing a conspicuous polar region:

CREDIT: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Rex Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock (5068896a) This image of Pluto?s largest moon Charon, taken by NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft 10 hours before its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 290,000 miles (470,000 kilometers), is a recently downlinked, much higher quality version of a Charon image released on July 15. Charon, which is 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) in diameter, displays a surprisingly complex geological history, including tectonic fracturing; relatively smooth, fractured plains in the lower right; several enigmatic mountains surrounded by sunken terrain features on the right side; and heavily cratered regions in the center and upper left portion of the disk. There are also complex reflectivity patterns on Charon?s surface, including bright and dark crater rays, and the conspicuous dark north polar region at the top of the image. The smallest visible features are 2.9 miles 4.6 kilometers) in size. Pluto Images from NASA's New Horizons - 10 Sep 2015 New close-up images of Pluto from NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity. New Horizons began its yearlong download of new images and other data over the Labor Day weekend. Images downlinked in the past few days have more than doubled the amount of Pluto?s surface seen at resolutions as good as 400 meters (440 yards) per pixel. 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. They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains reminiscent of disrupted terrains on Jupiter?s icy moon Europa.
(Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock)

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18 September 2015 | 9:20 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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