The most detailed view of Pluto was revealed by NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft at 80 meters per pixel resolution during its close flyby of 14th July 2015. The mosaic strip extending across the hemisphere was covered by the spacecraft when it flew past it.
The close-up images of the Pluto surface give the best opportunity to the scientist and the public to examine in detail all the various types of terrain on Pluto and to determine the processes that formed and shaped them. New Horizon spacecraft covers the ‘limb’ of Pluto at the top of the strip to the day/night line in the southeast of the encounter hemisphere.
Along with the magnetic images of Pluto, NASA also released videos which cover the mosaic from top to bottom, and the width of the strip ranges from more than 90 km at its northern end to 75 km at its southern end. The video covers the hummocky, cratered uplands at the top, chaotic and angular mountain ranges, zones of thin ice draped over the topography below and dark mountainous highlands.
Commenting on this latest development by NASA, Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute, Colorado, said –
This new image product is just magnetic. It makes me want to go back again on a mission to Pluto and get high-resolution images like the one we have right now across the entire surface.
The images covered by the New Horizon is approximately 9,850 miles away from Pluto, which is near to 23 minutes before New Horizon’s closest approach. The observation done by the scientist is also to have close-up looks of 20 more ancient Kuiper Belt objects which may come in the coming few years.
Other than giving the researcher the clearest version of Pluto, New Horizon also made the first close-up observations of the five moons of Pluto.
Here’s the video: