As excitement around success of Pluto Flyby starts to settle, more detailed images of the planet are being released by NASA. In the latest image from the New Horizons spacecraft, Pluto is being revealed as an intriguing new world with distinct surface features.
Scientists have spotted a 1,000-mile-long stretch of ‘complex’ terrain, alongside some unexplained polygonal features. They are also focusing on an immense dark band known as the ‘whale’ alongside a mysterious heart-shaped lighter patch on the surface.
The science team at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland reacted with joy and delight after another black and white picture of the plant was released by Lorri, showing Pluto like never before!
‘We’re close enough now that we’re just starting to see Pluto’s geology,’ said New Horizons program scientist Curt Niebur, Nasa Headquarters in Washington, who’s keenly interested in the gray area just above the whale’s ‘tail’ feature.
Can you see the whale and the heart in this image? A strange dark region – nicknamed ‘The Whale’ – stretches for 1,860 miles (3,000 km) across the equator of the planet alongside four mysterious black ‘alien’ spots. Several bright spots, including a heart, have also become clearer as the spacecraft draws near
Pluto has been revealed as a red and orange world that has a surface etched with bright and dark patches. Colour images sent back by the New Horizons spacecraft yesterday, taken from a distaqnce of 3 million miles, have revealed features on the surface of Pluto’s largest moon Charon that suggest it may have water ice.
‘It’s a unique transition region with a lot of dynamic processes interacting, which makes it of particular scientific interest.’
This image views the side of Pluto that always faces its largest moon, Charon, and includes the so-called ‘tail’ of the dark whale-shaped feature along its equator.
Scientists have already been captivated by the features revealed on Pluto by the spacecraft as it neared its target.
Several bright spots, including one shaped like a doughnut and a heart, have also become clearer as the spacecraft draws near.
Scientists believe Pluto and the thousands of other recently discovered Kuiper Belt objects are frozen mini-planets and building blocks left over from the solar system’s formation 4.6 billion years ago