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July 17, 2017

Fly over Pluto and Charon in the latest NASA footage

by John_A

The New Horizons spacecraft may have moved on from Pluto, making a long march to the Kuiper Belt, but we’re still deep in the process of analyzing the data it sent back. Now, for the spacecraft’s one-year anniversary of its Pluto flyby, NASA has released two new videos based on digital elevation models and New Horizons’ data of both Pluto and Charon.

The Pluto flyover begins in Sputnik Planitia, a nitrogen ice field bordered by craters on one side (Cthulhu Macula) and mountains on the other. It moves north to Voyager Terra, which are rugged highlands, and then sweeps over the pits and craters of Pioneer Terra. The flyover ends over Tartarus Dorsa.

The Charon flyover, meanwhile, surveys the canyon Serenity Chasma, before sweeping over Dorothy Gale crater and Mordor Macula, the dark polar hood of Charon. The flyover then moves south, covering an area called Oz Terra before ending at the Vulcan Planum plains and Clarke Montes mountains.

It’s important to note that the topographic features have been exaggerated in these videos to really give you an idea of what the landscape of Pluto and Charon are like. Additionally, NASA enhanced the colors of both dwarf planets’ surfaces.

Source: NASA

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