NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its historic fly-by past Pluto last year, following a 9 year, 5 month, and 25 day journey to the dwarf planet’s part of town in our Solar System.
While it was there, it grabbed measurements from Pluto’s atmosphere and grabbed spectacular high-resolution images of Pluto’s surface in detail that we’ve never seen before.
Although New Horizons is headed to a new destination at this point in time, an icy little Kuiper Belt Object that may offer some important information, NASA is still playing with the imagery it gets from New Horizons from its Pluto fly-by because it takes a while for those large files to get from the edge of our solar system back to Earth with current transmission methods.
One of the most recent creations by NASA is the following video that shows the mosaic strip of the highest detail of Pluto’s surface to date.
Here, you can see the chaotic surface of Pluto, which can’t seem to get its own mind straight in what the surface is like. There are some smooth areas, some bumpy areas, and some mountainous areas, but one thing you can make out for sure are the craters, likely from impacts.
NASA says that the strip ranges from 45 to 55 miles in width from top to bottom, but the height of the strip isn’t disclosed. Nevertheless, NASA does say that the images were taken with a resolution of 260 feet per pixel, and notes that New Horizons was about 9,850 miles away from Pluto’s surface when the images were taken.
These are the best photographs we’ll ever see of Pluto for a very long time. To get such quality imagery again, a new spacecraft would have to be sent out, and it would take nearly another decade to get there again.
From these high-resolution images, NASA hopes to learn more about Pluto, as well as unlock more secrets about the rest of our solar system.
Source: NASA, YouTube