NASA video shows Pluto's mountains and plains, and it's pretty unbelievable

Audrey Hill
July 18, 2017

The second flyover sends us to Pluto's largest moon Charon.

This new, detailed global mosaic color map of Pluto is based on a series of three color filter images obtained by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera aboard New Horizons during the NASA spacecraft's close flyby of Pluto in July 2015.

It's not just Pluto that got the animated flyover treatment: the New Horizons team made a companion video for Pluto's largest moon Charon.

That mission helped fill in one or two of the gaps in humanity's knowledge of our solar system, with imagery of the no-long-ninth planet capturing the zeitgeist for a few summer weeks. The viewer first passes over the western margin of Sputnik, where it borders the dark, cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula, with the blocky mountain ranges located within the plains seen on the right. The video concludes over "the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere". It then turns north over Dorothy Gale Crater and the dark polar region known as Mordor Macula and subsequently veers south, flying over the plain known as Oz Terra, and ending over the planar region known as Vulcan Planum and Clark Montes, an area of mountains that appear to be surrounded by moats.

The global space agency NASA has launched two incredible videos capturing the first ever close up the Pluto which is considered as the dwarf planet of our solar system according to the space agency.

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"Everywhere we turn are new mysteries", Stern said.

New Horizons has moved on from Pluto and is now flying deeper into the Kuiper Belt, a vast area filled with icy bodies out beyond Neptune's orbit.

New Horizons is now venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt, which is a region of icy bodies and dwarf planets like Pluto, according to NASA.

The newly-released NASA video, based on data from the New Horizons spacecraft and digital elevation models of Pluto, offers incredible insight into what it would be like to zoom over the dwarf planet.

The probe is due to complete a flyby of a small celestial object called 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.

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