NASA - New Horizons Mission logo.
July 15, 2016
One year ago, NASA’s New Horizons mission made history by exploring Pluto and its moons – giving humankind our first real look at this fascinating world on the frontier of our solar system.
Since those amazing days in July 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft has transmitted numerous images and many other kinds of data home for scientists and the public alike to study, analyze, and just plain love. From Pluto’s iconic “heart” and sweeping ice- mountain vistas to its flowing glaciers and dramatic blue skies, it’s hard to pick just one favorite picture. So the mission team has picked 10 – and in no special order, placed them here.”
Vast Glacial Flows
Jagged Ice Shorelines and Snowy Pits
Charon Becomes a Real World
The Vistas of Pluto
A Dynamic Duo: Pluto and Charon in Enhanced Color
Strange Snakeskin Terrain
Far Away Snow-Capped Mountains
Colorful Composition Maps of Pluto
The powerful instruments on New Horizons not only gave scientists insight on what Pluto looked like, their data also confirmed (or, in many cases, dispelled) their ideas of what Pluto was made of. These compositional maps – assembled using data from the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) component of the Ralph instrument – indicate the regions rich in ices of methane (CH4), nitrogen (N2) and carbon monoxide (CO), and, of course, water ice (H2O).
For more information about New Horizons, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html
Images, Text, Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Bill Keeter.
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