New Horizons Pluto flyby 2nd anniversary

Pluto's haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the Ralph instrument on the New Horizons spacecraft.

The mountains and cliff features are exaggerated on both the videos, for viewers to better make out elements of Pluto and Charon, with surface colours "enhanced to bring out detail".

The new images reveal that Pluto has several layers to its global atmospheric haze, which according to Nasa, "creates a twilight effect that softly illuminates nightside terrain near sunset". After many decades being labeled the ninth planet in our Solar System, scientists reclassified Pluto about ten years ago, officially dubbing it a dwarf planet rather than a full-fledged one.

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Pluto, including a heart-shaped region on its surface, is pictured in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015, when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface.

"The exciting flight over Charon begins high over the hemisphere New Horizons saw on its closest approach, then descends over the deep, wide canyon of Serenity Chasma".

"This dramatic Pluto flyover begins over the highlands to the southwest of the great expanse of nitrogen ice plain informally named Sputnik Planitia", NASA explains of the video.

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New Horizons is now venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt, which is a region of icy bodies and dwarf planets like Pluto, according to NASA. Visible to the right are blocky mountain ranges inside the plains. The video concludes over "the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere".

The spacecraft is now 5.7 billion kilometres from Earth and reaching the mysterious Kuiper Belt to reach its next target.

The video comes thanks to NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which made a historic flyby of Pluto back on July 14, 2015, providing scientists with a wealth of data they are still steadily evaluating and learning from.

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According to Clark, all five victims were riding mopeds at the time of the attacks, but they come from a "variety of backgrounds". Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said acid attacks were on the rise, though they still remained rare.

The probe is due to complete a flyby of a small celestial object called 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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