NASA Shares Panchromatic Global Map of Pluto

Posted on May 2, 2016

Pluto global panchromatic map

NASA's New Horizons mission science team has produced a new panchromatic (black and white) global map of Pluto. It contains images acquired by New Horizons between July 7 and July 14, 2015 at pixel resolutions ranging from 18 miles (30 kilometers) on the Charon-facing hemisphere (left and right edges of the map) to 770 feet (235 meters) on the hemisphere facing New Horizons during its closest approach.

The latest images woven into the map were sent back to Earth as recently as April 25. You can find a hi-res version of the above map here. The New Horizons spacecraft continues to transmit its stored Pluto encounter data to Earth. NASA says it expects to receive all the imagery obtained by the spacecraft by early fall.

The New Horizons team also shared this image showing the left side of Pluto's sunken heart-shaped feature, which is informally named Sputnik Planum. It shows that the vast expanse of the icy surface is on average 2 miles (3 kilometers) lower than the surrounding terrain. You can find a larger version of the image here.

Pluto sunked heart-shaped feature


Images: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI