25 Breathtaking Images Of Pluto You’ve Never Seen Before Until Now

Until now, images of pluto have been lacking on the quality side. Located in the Kuiper Belt, a region of the Solar System beyond the planets, Pluto is a dwarf planet made of ice and rock. Until 1992, it was considered the ninth planet from the Sun but after several similar objects were discovered, Pluto was reclassified as a member of the new dwarf planet category. As Pluto was the most distant planet (it lies 4.3 to 7.5 billion kilometers or 2.7 to 4.7 billion miles from Earth, depending on Pluto´s current position on its extremely tilted orbit), it remains one of the least explored and understood objects in the Solar System. You might know it has five moons – Charon (the largest, with a diameter just over half that of Pluto), Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra and you might even be aware of these 25 curious facts about Pluto but more than that is hard to analyze. Astronomers and scientists have figured out some other characteristics of the dwarf planet such as information about its orbit, size, geology, atmosphere etc. but compared to some closer planets, Pluto is still very mysterious. However, this may change soon. In July 2015, the New Horizons became the first spacecraft to fly by Pluto. During its brief flyby, the spacecraft made detailed measurements and observations of Pluto and its moons. It also took tens of unique images, giving the scientists and the public an unprecedented view of this mysterious world. Take a peek into this amazing world through these 25 Breathtaking Images Of Pluto You’ve Never Seen Before Until Now.

25

Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this sharper global view of Pluto.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
24

One of the latest high-resolution images of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
23

Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, the 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.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
22

This picture illustrates the incredible diversity of surface reflectivities and geological landforms on the dwarf planet.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
21

New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
20

Backlit by the Sun, Pluto’s atmosphere rings its silhouette like a luminous halo in this image taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft around midnight EDT on July 15.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
19

The setting sun illuminates a fog or near-surface haze, which is cut by the parallel shadows of many local hills and small mountains.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
18

Another stunning view of Pluto´s horizon illuminated by the sunset.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
17

One of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of Pluto´s largest moon Charon.

CharonSource and image: nasa.gov
16

This image features a large region of jumbled, broken terrain on the northwestern edge of the vast, icy plain informally called Sputnik Planum.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
15

Mosaic of high-resolution images of Pluto, sent back from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft from September 5 to 7, 2015.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
14

Pluto and its moon Charon are shown in enhanced color in this image, which is the highest-resolution color image of the pair yet returned to Earth by New Horizons.

Pluto and CharonSource and image: nasa.gov
13

New Horizons has discovered a new, apparently less lofty mountain range on the lower-left edge of Pluto’s best known feature, the icy mountains.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
12

While Pluto’s largest moon Charon has grabbed most of the lunar spotlight, two of Pluto’s smaller and lesser-known satellites Nix and Hydra have also been captured by the New Horizons spacecraft.

Nix and HydraSource and image: nasa.gov
11

These new images of Pluto and Charon highlight the compositional diversity of these two objects. Pluto and Charon are sometimes even considered a binary system because the barycenter of their orbits does not lie within either body.

Pluto and CharonSource and image: nasa.gov
10

This picture features rounded and bizarrely textured mountains, informally named the Tartarus Dorsa, rise up along Pluto’s day-night terminator and shows intricate but puzzling patterns of blue-gray ridges and reddish material in between.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
9

Pluto’s bright, mysterious “heart” is rotating into view, ready for its close-up on close approach, in this image taken by New Horizons on July 12 from a distance of 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers).

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
8

From a distance of just two and a half million miles (4 million km) from Pluto, the spacecraft has taken its best image of four dark spots.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
7

Another close-up picture of Sputnik Planum, the Pluto´s “heart”.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
6

In the western half of what mission scientists have informally named Tombaugh Regio, New Horizons’ Ralph instrument revealed evidence of carbon monoxide ice. The contours indicate that the concentration of frozen carbon monoxide increases towards the center of the “bull’s eye.”

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
5

Pluto’s bright, high-altitude atmospheric haze produces a twilight that softly illuminates the surface before sunrise and after sunset.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov
4

A close-up image of Pluto's small moon Nix showing features as small as 4 miles (6 kilometers) across. Mission scientists believe we are looking at one end of an elongated body about 25 miles (40 kilometers) in diameter.

NixSource and image: nasa.gov
3

This new image of Charon has a captivating feature — a depression with a peak in the middle, shown here in the upper left corner of the inset.

Charon Source and image: nasa.gov
2

Hydra, Pluto´s outermost moon, was discovered in 2005. Probably covered with water ice, the moon is estimated to measure 55 by 40 km (34 by 25 miles).

HydraSource and image: nasa.gov
1

One of the most detailed studies of Pluto´s surface, this image reveals features as small as 270 yards (250 meters) across.

PlutoSource and image: nasa.gov


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