The most fascinating pictures of the former planet

The size of the smallest distinguishable details in this picture is 1.3 km away.

This summer on the scientific map of mankind one less terra incognita: spacecraft New Horizons flying past Pluto and all the details photographed once the ninth planet of the Solar system. And an ambitious mission has been worth it! “Attic” has collected the most interesting facts about the amazing celestial body.

July 14, 2015 so many people, as they say, “closed Gestalt”. Man-machine 49 at the speed of 600 kilometers per hour flew past the last planet that we have not seen up close. However, at the time of the passage of Pluto for nine years as ceased to be a planet, but the importance of events from this are not in the least diminished.

22 hours the device NASA New Horizons was in radio silence, studying the system of Pluto and its five satellites: Charon huge and tiny the NYX, Hydra, Styx and Cerberus. During this time he has collected about 50 GB of information. To convey this volume and on the Ground is not always easy, to say nothing of the cosmos: the data transfer rate from such a crazy distance is 1000 bits per second. Therefore, the collected dannymy will get small portions until 2019. From those bits, which the machine managed to pass, we learned a lot of interesting.

Glacier Satellite

The “Heart” Of Pluto.

On the first large picture of Pluto, which gave New Horizons, was clearly visible bright “heart”. The unusual surface area was given the name of the discoverer of the dwarf planet Clyde tombo — tombo area. However, the smoothest (and young) part of that land called separately: in honor of the first spacecraft in history, it is now called the Satellite.

More detailed images show that the Satellite is not just plain ice and a moving glacier. For example, right now he crawls into a big old crater . So geologic activity of Pluto were much higher than expected.


Judging by the numerous craters, Charon tumultuous past.

The first images of Charon in color New Horizons passed immediately after the flight, but snapshot camera high-resolution LORRI on the Ground after September 5. On it you can see a mysterious dark area, which in honor of the country of evil from Lord of the rings called Mordor; to consider it by with a resolution of 4.6 km (the diameter of Charon is 1200 km).

Nikta and Hydra

Pictures of Nikti and Hydra are not very impressive, unless you consider that we see objects the size of several tens of km, which are at a distance of 5.7 billion km.

New Horizons sent the pictures and two satellites-“kids”: the NYX and Hydra. Nikto managed to capture in color: it turned out she has a strange pink color. Hydra while the black-and-white, but clearly visible to its strange form: it resembles a stone for Curling. Hydra in a diameter of 55 km, nicta – 36.

Separate surprises was in the mountains, which, it turns out, are both on Pluto and Charon. On Pluto it is known, two major mountain ranges of height up to 3500 meters, on the Charon was discovered amazing mountain inside the crater.

Mysterious haze

The atmosphere of Pluto resembles a layer cake. Image: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

After passing Pluto, the apparatus was rotated their camera, take a picture of the atmosphere of the former planet against the light. Further processing showed that the atmosphere of Pluto “stacked” layers.

Sunset on the dwarf planet

Alien ominous landscape is plunged into darkness.

Considering the terminator — the border between light and shadow, you can see a rare sight — the mists above the Pluton. Moreover, New Horizons captured the land was mountainous, so that the final composition turned out to be especially artistic.

Candidate number one under the title MU 2014 69 (1110113Y) can be reached with absolute probability and spend only 35% of remaining fuel. The probability PN to reach 2014 70 (G12000JZ), which are bigger in size was 97%, but the throw would have gone almost all the fuel. The chances to reach the third object, 2014 OS 393 (E31007AI) was only 7%. So in August, was made the obvious choice, and now the 45 km 2014 MU 69 (1110113Y) in 2019 is waiting for New Horizons. And so will we.

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