Pluto is the most beloved celestial body in our solar system. For years, we’ve just wanted to get close to it. And now, we have. The New Horizons probe, which last year brought us some stunning images of Pluto, has delivered once again.
As it flew over Pluto, the probe took one long, long picture of the planet using its LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) camera.
Captured with the LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) camera aboard the New Horizons Probe. The image can be seen in full here and shows what begins as a barren, pock-marked wasteland before moving into a series of mountains. Unlike any mountain you may have seen on earth, the ones here are bubbly and glassy, before giving way to flat spongey plains of nitrogen ice.
The width of the image starts at roughly 55 miles (90 km) tapering off to around 45 miles (75km) at the bottom. We are getting a very close look at the planet indeed, here. In fact, as NASA itself puts it “This is the most detailed view of Pluto’s terrain you’ll see for a very long time.”
It could be years, decades, millennia, before we decided to take a closer look at Pluto. So for us Pluto lovers, this incredible image will have to make do for a good while. Study the image, caress it; let it soak into your eyeballs.
And every night, before you go to bed, don’t forget to say: “Pluto, we still love you,”
My name is Jamie O'Flinn. I am a 24-year-old writer living in the West Midlands. I received a degree in Professional Writing in 2012, and am pleased to report a total lifetime earnings of 50p so far. Earned when I was 8. Selling a story about yoghurt to my literacy teacher.
When not being NRM's star contributor, I'm either gaming, drawing, blogging or trying to shill my bad leprechaun novels to wary agents. There's also a webcomic I've been meaning to do. Maybe. One day.
I'm also delightfully autistic, which grants me special powers. Like tinnitus, and occasional sudden blindness.