Nasa Probe Releases Stunning New Images of Pluto

Updated: September 18, 2015 15:01 IST

Spectacular images of the dwarf planet Pluto have been released by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. The images capture minutes before New Horizons closest approach to Pluto, give a panoramic view of the Solar System's ninth planet.

Nasa Probe Releases Stunning New Images of Pluto
Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto's horizon.(NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)
Nasa Probe Releases Stunning New Images of Pluto
The smooth expanse of the informally named icy plain Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked to the west (left) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. To the right, east of Sputnik, rougher terrain is cut by apparent glaciers. The backlighting highlights over a dozen layers of haze in Pluto's tenuous but distended atmosphere.(NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)
Nasa Probe Releases Stunning New Images of Pluto
The image was taken from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) to Pluto; the scene is 780 miles (1,250 kilometers) wide.(NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)
Nasa Probe Releases Stunning New Images of Pluto
Ice (probably frozen nitrogen) that appears to have accumulated on the uplands on the right side of this 390-mile (630-kilometer) wide image is draining from Pluto's mountains onto the informally named Sputnik Planum through the 2- to 5-mile (3- to 8- kilometer) wide valleys indicated by the red arrows. The flow front of the ice moving into Sputnik Planum is outlined by the blue arrows. The origin of the ridges and pits on the right side of the image remains uncertain. (NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

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