New images of the Pluto flyby
- This mosaic of high-resolution images shows the Sputnik Planum — the icy plains that make up half of the heart-shaped section of Pluto’s surface. The smallest features in the image are about 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) in size, and the entire image shows about 1,000 miles (1600 kilometers) of Pluto’s surface. The image was taken by the LORRI imager aboard New Horizons on July 14th, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers). The insets can be seen in greater detail in the next two images below.
- This image offers a more detailed look at the edge of Pluto’s icy Sputnik Planum. The cracks you see in the picture are evidence of recent geologic activity, and suggest that Pluto is a much more dynamic planetary body than once thought.
- This picture, which is another inset from above, shows how diverse Pluto’s landscape is. Although the picture only shows about 220 miles worth of the surface, you can see so much: the dwarf planet’s icy plains sit next to giant, dark impact craters, as well as some of Pluto’s mountains next to what look like dunes.
- In this image, the New Horizons team cranked the brightness to reveal even more detail at the edges of the now-famous face of Pluto.
- One of the last images originally released around the flyby event was taken after New Horizons passed Pluto. Looking back at the dwarf planet as it was back-lit by the sun, the spacecraft was able to take a direct image of Pluto’s atmosphere. Here we see a much higher-resolution version, as well as another, more off-centered look on the right. The image on the right also has been processed to show the different layers of haze in Pluto’s atmosphere.