Amazing New Photos of Pluto From New Horizons
Since mid-July, NASA’s New Horizons mission has been beaming back images of its historic close-up encounter with Pluto. The latest batch, taken with the spacecraft’s wide angle Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC), contains incredible vistas of the dwarf planet’s landscape. Taken around sunset on July 14 and released yesterday, the images show a hazy atmosphere backlit by the sun.
As New Horizons co-investigator Will Grundy explains in a NASA announcement, “these low-lying hazes hint at the weather changing from day to day on Pluto, just like it does here on Earth.”
The scenes are surprisingly arctic-looking, showing icy mountains, glaciers, and streams of frozen nitrogen. According to NASA, the glaciers look not unlike the frozen streams on Greenland and Antarctica’s ice caps.
This panorama stretches across 780 miles of the Plutonian surface.
This image shows the haze of the Plutonian atmosphere, partially shadowed by hills and mountains.
See more of the images from New Horizons from NASA.
All images from NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.