NASA is celebrating the second anniversary of its New Horizons’ historic Pluto flyby and to mark the occasion, it has released new maps of the planet and its moon Charon. The clips shared by NASA provide a glimpse of the complex terrain of Pluto.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made a historic flight through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015. It had then captured the first ever close-up pictures of Pluto and its moons. The spacecraft also collected other data, which helped in understanding the mysterious worlds that exists on the outer frontier of our solar system.
The data sent by New Horizons is still being analysed by the scientists. NASA has unveiled a set of detailed, high-quality global maps of Pluto and Charon.
"The complexity of the Pluto system -- from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere -- has been beyond our wildest imagination," said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
"Everywhere we turn are new mysteries. These new maps from the landmark exploration of Pluto by NASA's New Horizons mission in 2015 will help unravel these mysteries and are for everyone to enjoy," Stern added.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is 5.7 billion kilometres from Earth. It is venturing deeper into the distant mysterious Kuiper Belt to reach its next target.
The spacecraft will on January 1, 2019 will get closer to a Kuiper Belt object known as 2014 MU69, NASA said.
Now, NASA scientists, using the New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, have created flyover movies that reveal breath-taking new perspectives of the unusual features of the planet.
Watch the videos below: