Arts&Culture

Nitrogen ice plains and alien mountain ranges: NASA releases Pluto flyover

Nitrogen ice plains and alien mountain ranges: NASA releases Pluto flyover

The team has just released two spectacular flyover videos, of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, created from the New Horizons data offering us the most intimate look yet at our distant icy friends.

In July 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sent home the first close-up pictures of Pluto and its moons - awesome imagery that inspired many to wonder what a flight over the distant worlds' icy terrain might be like.

"This dramatic Pluto flyover begins over the highlands to the southwest of the great expanse of nitrogen ice plain informally named Sputnik Planitia", NASA explains of the video.

According to the space agency, New Horizons captured over 1,200 photos and collected 10GB worth of data, which took over a year to reach Earth. The clips shared by NASA provide a glimpse of the complex terrain of Pluto. The zoomed camera shows the planet's icy plains and stunning mountain ranges, revealing its incredible bladed terrain in further details exhibiting deep and broad pits.

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As a result, viewers are offered new, stunning perspectives of Pluto and Charon depicting unusual features discovered in New Horizons images over the past two years.

Formed in 1958, NASA is one of the preeminent space agencies now in operation, is the only organization to land astronauts on the surface of the Moon, to carry out extended missions on the planet Mars and more. It moves north to Voyager Terra, which are rugged highlands, and then sweeps over the pits and craters of Pioneer Terra.

"Everywhere we turn are new mysteries", says Alan Stern, the principle investigator for New Horizons. So if you're nostalgic for the summer of 2015, these videos will bring you right back to the Pluto system and make you feel like you're also an interplanetary spacecraft. It aims to pass an object labelled 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.


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