NASA Releases Highest Resolution Close-up Images of Pluto

Posted on December 6, 2015

High-res photo of Sputnik Planum on Pluto

NASA has released the sharpest close-ups of Pluto taken by the New Horizons spacecraft. The new photos have resolutions of about 250-280 feet (77-85 meters) per pixel. They reveal features smaller than half a city block on the surface of Pluto.

The image above shows the mountainous shorelines bordering Sputnik Planum where great blocks of Pluto's water-ice crust appear jammed together. A high-res version of the image can be found here.

New Horizons science team member John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute says in a statement, "The mountains bordering Sputnik Planum are absolutely stunning at this resolution. The new details revealed here, particularly the crumpled ridges in the rubbly material surrounding several of the mountains, reinforce our earlier impression that the mountains are huge ice blocks that have been jostled and tumbled and somehow transported to their present locations."

Highest resolution photo of ice plains on Pluto


The image above is a highest-resolution image of Pluto's rugged, icy cratered plains. Layering in the interior walls of some of the craters can be observed. Most of the crater sin the image area located within the 155-mile (250 kilometer) wide Burney Basin. You can view a larger version of the image here.

NASA also shared this animated flyby using the sharpest views of Pluto obtains by the New Horizons spacecraft. Take a look:



Photos: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI