NASA has just released a panoramic image of Pluto's crescent taken by the New Horizons spacecraft — and the scene is absolutely incredible. The photograph showcases the dwarf planet's icy mountains in amazing detail, as backlighting from the Sun shines through the world's hazy atmosphere.
The picture was taken by New Horizons' wide-angle Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera on July 14th, as the spacecraft flew by Pluto. However, the data for the image wasn't received on Earth until recently on September 13th. The picture captures a part of Sputnik Planum — the informal name given to Pluto's large heart region — as well as some of the mountain ranges surrounding the area. It's a region that covers 780 miles across.
"This image is a scientific bonanza."
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