Science

Pluto’s frozen wonderland like never seen before

NASA has released its sharpest images of Pluto’s frozen wonderland to date. The photos taken from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured resolutions between 250 to 280 feet per pixel – meaning the images reveal areas smaller than half a city block. The super high-resolution images of the dwarf planet were taken during New Horizons July flyby. The above video is composed of the images captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its July flyby. The photos captured an 80 kilometre wide strip starting at Pluto’s horizon as seen from the spacecraft, to the shoreline of an icy plain known as Sputnik. “These close-up images, showing the diversity of terrain on Pluto, demonstrate the power of our robotic planetary explorers to return intriguing data to scientists back here on planet Earth,” said John Grunsfeld in a statement, former astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Image: Pluto’s ‘Badlands’ showing how erosion and faulting have sculpted this icy crust into rugged badlands on Pluto’s surface. Courtesy of: NASA.

The images were captured with the telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the New Horizons spacecraft.

Image: Pluto’s Layered Craters and Icy Plains. Courtesy of: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.

It took previous spacecrafts decades to capture images at this resolution of Venus and Mars, but took New Horizons only less than five months to capture images at this sharpness of Pluto. Scientists expect more images of the icy terrain over the next several days.