Saturday, December 5, 2015 - NASA has released some of the clearest photos of Pluto ever taken. Captured by the New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, the sequence of images show a wide variety of the planet's glacial terrain along a strip spanning 80 km wide. Snapshots reveal northwest of Pluto's "heart" region, across the icy al-Idrisi mountains and through Sputnik Planum's plains.
It was the spacecraft's closest flyby, capturing photos at a distance from Earth that ranged from 7.5 billion to 4.28 billion km.
More of these stunning high resolution photos are expected to come in over the next few days, so stay tuned.
Here are some of the best close-ups:
In this highest-resolution image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains.
This highest-resolution image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft shows how erosion and faulting has sculpted this portion of Pluto’s icy crust into rugged badlands.