New Pluto Images! Details Begin To Emerge From The Fuzzy Orb
Pluto's complex geological surface is slowly being unwrapped as New Horizons approaches the dwarf planet.
"We’re close enough now that we’re just starting to see Pluto’s geology," said New Horizons program scientist Curt Niebur, NASA Headquarters in Washington, who’s keenly interested in the gray area just above the whale’s "tail" feature. "It’s a unique transition region with a lot of dynamic processes interacting, which makes it of particular scientific interest."
The newest image from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft was taken with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 9 from a distance of 5.4 million kilometers (3.3 million miles) from Pluto.
"Among the structures tentatively identified in this new image are what appear to be polygonal features; a complex band of terrain stretching east-northeast across the planet, approximately 1,000 miles long; and a complex region where bright terrains meet the dark terrains of the whale," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern. "After nine and a half years in flight, Pluto is well worth the wait."
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