Pluto New Horizons Sand Dunes
This synthetic perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images to be downlinked from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, shows what you would see if you were approximately 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) above Pluto’s equatorial area, looking northeast over the dark, cratered, informally named Cthulhu Regio toward the bright, smooth, expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum.NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Pluto New Horizons Sand Dunes
Pluto New Horizons Sand Dunes
This synthetic perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images to be downlinked from NASA’s New Ho
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NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Sou
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New Images Show Pluto's Surprising Terrain

Sep 11, 2015

The new images of Pluto downloaded by the New Horizons spacecraft show that the dwarf planet is far more varied and complex than NASA had expected.

After receiving and releasing initial images from the spacecraft's July 14 flyby, NASA began a yearlong downlinking process to acquire all of the data and high resolution photography from New Horizons, according to a press release. These photographs with more detail reveal unexpected terrain diversity, such as ice flows seemingly cascading from mountains into plains, as well as what appear to be dunes.

“Pluto is showing us a diversity of landforms and complexity of processes that rival anything we’ve seen in the solar system,” said Alan Stern, the New Horizons principal investigator “If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that’s what is actually there.”

Photos from New Horizons have surprised scientists since the spacecraft approached and then passed Pluto in July, capturing unprecedented views of the dwarf planet along the way.

[NASA]

See New Horizons' Best Images of Pluto

Pluto False Color New Horizons
An enhanced color global view of pluto released on July 24, 2015.NASA/Reuters
Pluto False Color New Horizons
New Horizons Pluto Heart Tombaugh Regio
New Horizons Pluto Mountain Range
New Horizons Pluto Heart Mountain Range
New Horizons Pluto Charon
Pluto Heart New Horizons
New Horizons Pluto Charon Moon
New Horizons Pluto Charon Moon
Pluto
An enhanced color global view of pluto released on July 24, 2015.
NASA/Reuters
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