Soar Over Pluto and Charon in Dazzling New Horizons Anniversary Videos

Danny Woods
July 17, 2017

From the outer fringes of the solar system, tiny Pluto looms large in a newly released NASA video that reveals astonishing detail from the dwarf planet.

The videos were made using actual spacecraft data and digital elevation models of both Pluto and Charon to simulate fly overs of both worlds from vantage points closer than those actually traversed by the spacecraft. To celebrate the anniversary, scientists released detailed maps of both Pluto and Charon.

The global space agency NASA has launched two awesome videos capturing the first ever close up the Pluto which is considered as the dwarf planet of our solar system according to the space agency. The zoomed camera shows the planet's icy plains and stunning mountain ranges, revealing its incredible bladed terrain in further details exhibiting deep and broad pits. "Fortunately, now we know how to do that and what new instruments to bring to bear".

"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", NASA officials wrote in a video description. It moves north to Voyager Terra, which are rugged highlands, and then sweeps over the pits and craters of Pioneer Terra.

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Two years ago, New Horizons sent home the first close-up images of Pluto and its moons, including its largest - Charon.

"I think the most surprising thing [to come out of New Horizons] is how complex that little planet is", the mission's principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Institute in Colorado, told Space.com on the flyby's two-year anniversary.

New Horizons also discovered traces of water ice in certain regions of the dwarf planet.

The spacecraft will on January 1, 2019 will get closer to a Kuiper Belt object known as 2014 MU69, NASA said.

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